Talk:Smart growth

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Edits 3/27/2008[edit]

Removed the following section of article:


"===Economic===

Big-city mayors, downtown business groups, and individual investors interested in gentrification see smart growth or regeneration as a useful tool to revitalize town centers or neglected urban neighborhoods. Rural politicians support it to deter in-migration and change to rural open spaces, although their constituents may work in towns and cities.

Locating people near each other, near jobs, and near shopping, reduces travel time and transportation infrastructure costs. Policy-makers sometimes try to provide financial incentives to developers to encourage different land use choices, often in combination with changing legal requirements.

Smart growth considers the total long-term economic costs of development decisions, rather than merely the short term profits. Engineers often use life cycle cost analysis to evaluate trade-offs, while investors and proprietors may be more interested in the "bottom line" of profitability."

Section was judged to be subjective and logically inconsistent.

Paragraph 1: There is no evidence that 'big-city mayors', 'downtown business groups', 'individual investors', or 'rural politicians' in general support smart growth. This statement can even be construed as counter intuitive, as, for example, rural politicians would discourage smart growth in order to bring economic development to their areas.

Paragraph 2: There is no evidence that smart growth reduces travel time nor infrastructure costs. Smart growth may have the opposite affects: smart growth increases the mode share of transit, walking, and bicycling, all of which in general have longer travel times over similar distances when compared to automobile travel. In addition, not all infrastructure costs can be said to be affected positively by smart growth; there are many studies that suggest fixed transit services (such as those encouraged by smart growth) are more expensive than highway infrastructure both to construct and maintain. The second sentence in this paragraph is irrelevant to both the premise of the first sentence and the section of the article.

Paragraph 3: This paragraph is contradictory. Engineers design the majority of infrastucture, however, the majority of infrastructure is not designed within smart growth parameters. Therefore, if engineers, as the paragraph claims, typically use life cycle cost analysis to arrive at the most efficient design, this suggests that smart growth is inefficient from a life cycle cost analysis perspective.


Undated Edits[edit]

Removed part of the article:

Supportive of Agenda 21 agreements and the ecology movement's efforts to control sprawl, protect biodiversity and conserve natural habitats, the Smart Growth concept is perceived as a more media-friendly term than notions of sustainability which have perhaps a greater intellectual appeal. It cleverly appears to distance itself from mid 20th century notions of population control or "going back to nature" (which have anti-democratic and anti-capitalist connotations) and accepts that some "growth" is inevitable. It may thus expand its sphere of influence, even though some supporters presumably would prefer "no growth" or the emphatic reversal of many, largely acquisitive, trends perceived as detrimental to social and/or environmental conditions in industrialised democratic societies. It rather allows different supporters to choose what things grow in their personal visions of a better world. As an indication of societal hesitancy, many politicians and academics seem more prepared to argue for a reduced use of private cars than for reduced car (US: automobile) ownership or production. It is clearly less disruptive of the status quo in any society to argue for the cessation of a particular growth trend than to argue for its reversal, even over a long period.
One disadvantage of using the term "sustainable" to describe modes of behaviour or commerce that respect ecological understanding and environmental goals is that the same word is often used (especially by politicians and entrepreneurs) to mean sustainable in its traditional sense (i.e. capable of future continuity), or as a synonym for "economically viable". Thus a taxation initiative might be described as "sustainable" because the principle enjoys cross-party agreement or because it appears easy to administer, even though the new tax has no Green benefits and would not deter environmental damage or reduce the depletion of natural resources.

Recent additions need to be qualified and NPOVed. --maveric149

Perhaps we have been pounding on 24 a bit too much about NPOV. This EPA writeup seems to use "sustainable" with no sop to business or industry. Perhaps they abandoned the word because there really is a militant green faction somewhere making some inroads? Complex issues that is for sure: *http://216.239.35.100/search?q=cache:lkJBLf_66aEC:www.epa.gov/swerrims/RCRA-ch4.pdf+engineering+economics+discounting+tradeoff&hl=en&lr=lang_en

Well, back to engineering life cycle tradeoffs analysis where I was being confused when I found this, chow maveric,24.

How is this not NPOV? Qualifed how? New draft material below: Apparently useful links from google: http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/agenda21.htm http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/agenda21text.htm

Good grief! 2.3X10E6 more links .... this may take some serious research!

Perhaps we should rely on 24s first cut at NPOV and then tweakify it vs. attempting to write from scratch ourselves?

The Smart Growth campaign and concept grew out of Agenda 21 agreements and the ecology movement's efforts to control sprawl, protect biodiversity and conserve natural habitats. The Smart Growth concept was designed to be a more media-friendly term influential with viewers than notions of sustainability which have perhaps a greater intellectual appeal, at least among self appointed intellectuals with limited education or exposure to practical disciplines such as applied science, industry or engineering arts in construction and transporation sectors of macroeconomies. It cleverly attempts to distance itself from mid 20th century notions of population control or "going back to nature" (which have anti-democratic and anti-capitalist connotations) and acknowledges or accepts that some "growth" is inevitable.
It is hoped by its originators that this is an improved public relations concept that may assist in expanding its sphere of influence. Some supporters presumably would still prefer "no growth" or the emphatic reversal of many, largely acquisitive, trends perceived as detrimental to social and/or environmental conditions in industrialised democratic societies. However, this compromise vision allows practical implementation of current political agendas that may incrementally advance all supporters goals, even though the goals vary in degree and destination. user:mirwin

Moving on to green architecture in the news ... assuming we can find a link from "Smarth Growth" and Agenda 21 (Ok, I admit that I had never heard of it but apparently UN and 178 countries have.) to these success stories:

This seems a bit silly. Now I need to go research/find/write about sod busters, sod houses and prairie schooners. The sod roof is back in style because it is potentially cheaper than oil/natural gas heating at current BTU rates. Will wonders never cease? mirwin

How about this:

The concept of smart growth grew out of ecology movement's efforts to control sprawl, protect biodiversity and conserve natural habitats. Some view the concept of smart growth as being a more media-friendly term that calls upon notions of sustainability which perhaps have a greater intellectual appeal than some of the more emotional notions that underlie the ecology movement. Several radio show personalities consider the smart growth movement to be a clever attempt by environmentalists to distance itself from notions like population control and advocacy of communes. In fact, some supporters of the concept of smart growth do prefer "no growth" but maintain that "some growth" is inevitable and should therefore be planned in a way to minimize environmental harm.
Looks pretty good to me except I do not like referencing radio show hosts .... to me most seem like ignorant boobs willing to say what it takes to make the big bucks and syndication. How about "Several radio show personalities ...." changing to "Adamant pro grow factions consider the smart growth movement to be merely propaganda and public image management attempting to distance themselves from early radical concepts such as population control and advocacy of alternate lifestyles such as communes.

Also, I wonder if we should have a section that attempts to track the differences in view of urban vs. rural populations. Various methods or ways to proceed have very different impacts on urban and rural voters and it is my perception that this greatly complicates the public debate in the U.S. What does it do in other industrialized nations in Europe and for that matter in emerging economies elsewhere? Anyone! We need some input here .... [[user:mirwin]

I have attempted to make the language more accessible with descriptions, links and examples. Also have modified for NPOV. I didn't have the patience to address the timeline. I also moved the technical flag to the "talk" section for two reasons -- 1) it said it was misplaced, and 2) I hope I addressed some of the problem. This article continues to need a lot of work. Footnotes would probably be helpful -- I would imagine that the Congress of New Urbanism would be a good source to use in describing what smart growth is, according to its proponents. Because the term "smart growth" was clearly designed as a phrase of advocacy, it is especially important to maintain NPOV in this article. Some discussion of the development of the phrase and its use in advocacy should probably also be addressed more promienently. Thesmothete 23:32, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Change category name from New Urbanism to...[edit]

I have proposed changing the name of Category:New Urbanism. My best alternative is Sustainable urban planning or Sustainable urban design, which would then be broad enough to cover articles such as this one. But perhaps there is something more suitable.

See discussion at Category talk:New Urbanism. (Don't respond here) --Singkong2005 13:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Examples of Communities Implementing Smart Growth Principles[edit]

It's not clear to me how helpful this section is becoming, if we have simply an uncited list of cities asserted to be examples of Smart Growth. I would suggest that each listed city should have a cite and/or short explaination as to why it is included in order to stay. Thesmothete 14:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

It's clear to me that the section, as it stands, is close to useless. Either it needs to be expanded to supply context or the entire list should be removed. The inclusion of Columbus (which finished dead last in a recent should be enough to demonstrate that the current list is not working as intended. - EurekaLott 05:36, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I've added a list of communities considered to have one or more smart growth principals applied enough to be fouced on by smartgrowth.org. I agree that the cities/communities could afford short explanations as what has been applied and elaborated, rather than just a list, but I disagree that the section is useless, if nothing more than just a starting reference. Shaunjason 16:39, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
I have removed the unsourced communities in the list. For a few of those referenced in the Smart Growth Network piece, I have listed their particular noteworthiness, but, frankly, most of them get a passing mention in a document that provides little context for understanding what these communities actually have done. There are clearly dozens, if not hundreds of communities that could list some claim to having done something related to smart growth, so let's limit this list to those for which we can document either major recognition of overall success or list the particular area of success along with a specific citation. Thesmothete 15:54, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

"Smart Growth" not architecture, this page not technical[edit]

I don't see what "Smart Growth" has to do with architecture. It's a planning theory that has little to do with building design.

Likewise, I don't think this page is "too technical". It just lacks substance, and could readily be edited down to a stub or start at best. "Smart Growth" is little more than a slogan for the New Urbanism, and I recommend merging it into that article.

IMHO, "Smart Growth" is primarily an excuse for continuous, excessive, and often unmitigated urban growth, or "vertical sprawl". Most of the arguments for it I've seen are little more than developer propaganda and PR.

I just edited the introduction to one section down to all that it needed to say. I'll try to cut through some more of the BS here as time allows. Mukrkrgsj 03:57, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

While I'm no fan of "Smart Growth," tending to agree there's too much emphasis on the second term, it is architecutre related. It's certainly a planning issue, but effective mixed use requires careful design. --Belg4mit 22:24, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Consistency[edit]

"Smart Growth" or smart growth? Both are used in the article. --Belg4mit 22:24, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I recommend "Smart Growth"--it's fundamentally a slogan. -- Mukrkrgsj 01:36, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Citation needed: Compact neighborhoods[edit]

"Compact, livable urban neighborhoods attract more people and business.": this sentence needs a citation. This is a broad contention that needs a reference to support it.

There is considerable literature proving the opposite, especially that people are not generally attracted to compact neighborhoods. While it is accepted that certain micro-demographic nodes (see studies on "cluster demographics") do indeed prefer compact neighborhoods, recent studies employing focus groups indicate that a very large proportion of the American public do prefer lower density neighborhoods, and single-family detached housing in particular.

As well, the term 'liveable' is widely open to interpretation. As the old saying goes "one man's rose is another man's onion". The opening sentence implies that 'compact' and 'liveable' are synonymous with one another. If so, documentation is needed to show the research that proves that the general public sees a 'compact' neighborhood de facto as a 'liveable' one.

It may well be (and again proof is needed; this is just my opinion) that the average American who drives through quaint 'compact' neighborhoods in inner-city Philadelphia or Seattle finds them delightful and fancies that they could live there; that, in other words, they are 'liveable'.

It is quite another thing, however, for that same person to plunk down hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a home there and truly find out whether they are 'liveable'. --Atikokan (talk) 06:49, 25 January 2009 (UTC)


Criticism Section Needs Work[edit]

I think the Criticism section needs to be reworked to actually present a NPOV abstract of the criticisms. If there are indeed refutations of these criticisms, fine, let's put them in a "Responses to Criticisms" section or similar. Right now, the section pretty much just mentions that criticisms exist without giving a summary of the substance of their argument. Neltana (talk) 22:21, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Debate on climate effects[edit]

Another editor and I a going back and forth on commentary related to climate change and smart growth.

Perhaps if a section on the purported connection were written in such a way as to denote a logical connection between the two, I would be aemnable to keeping it.  As written, it has no connection, and appearst to be present more for political reasons than those related to the gathering of encyclopedic knowledge.

-CompassRose. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CompassRose65 (talkcontribs) 20:01, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Stupid growth[edit]

Please note this essay from Harvard Divinity School by Timothy C. Weiskel

- http://ecojustice.net/2005-ENVRE120/PDF/20020000-Smart-Growth-10-Commandments.pdf - "the consequences of "stupid" growth (mindless growth, aimless growth, anarchic growth) are now becoming too apparent to ignore". DAB (talk) 17:18, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Dr. Weiskel created and directed of the Environmental Ethics & Public Policy Program at the Harvard Divinity School from 1989 to 1999, where he taught courses in environmental ethics and religious perspectives on the environment - http://ecoethics.net/hsev/2001-2002/TCW-Brief-Bio.htm 72.243.80.253 (talk) 17:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

German article[edit]

I'd love to create a German article on this topic. Anyone fluent in here who's up to support me? :) Cheers Horst-schlaemma (talk) 11:04, 23 March 2014 (UTC)