Definition – Smart growth refers to urban development that is compact, resource-efficient and less dependent on the use of private cars. In contrast to urban sprawl, smart growth advocates higher density, mixed-use urban neighbourhoods that enable walking and cycling; the preservation of historic buildings; the provision of mixed income housing that helps reduce social and class segregation; and a diversity of housing and mobility choices that appeal to a range of lifestyle preferences.
The term smart growth is most commonly used in North America, while in Europe and Australia the term ‘compact city’ is often used to refer to similar ideas.
Relevance to SUMP – The notion of smart growth encapsulates a range of policy measures that a public authority may wish to implement within a SUMP and related land use plan. These include in particular the land use measures of influencing development density to avoid sprawl and encouraging mixed-use development to facilitate shorter trips to access basic services.
Source: UN HABITAT (2013)