Abundant jobs, businesses, transportation choices and affordable places to live are interdependent parts of strong local economies, and smart growth benefits all of these simultaneously. By planning and building smarter, we can make families, communities and entire regions more prosperous.
Smart growth strategies benefit municipal budgets.
Smart growth helps towns and states make the most of their budgets by reducing costs in a number of ways. Smart growth development reduces the need for, and therefore the cost of new infrastructure like roadways and water systems; smart growth reduces maintenance costs by advocating for “fix-it-first” approaches; smart growth reduces the costs associated with urban decline by providing tools for the reuse of vacant properties and brownfields.
Smart growth strategies benefit household budgets.
Smart growth helps individuals and families make the most of their budgets, too. Smart growth reduces the combined cost of transportation and housing, which currently makes up more than 50% of the average household budget. Smart growth increases property values in decent economic times and stabilizes them in times of economic uncertainty.
Smart growth strategies are good for businesses.
Smart growth features such as walkable downtowns and robust public transportation systems help attract and retain talented workers, a valuable asset for any business and a competitive advantage for cities or regions. Smart growth also means more foot traffic for small businesses on the main streets of our urban and town centers, as well as improved worker productivity thanks to better transportation options and the locating of more jobs close by where people live.
Smart growth strategies are good for jobs.
Smart growth makes it easier for people to access a wide variety of jobs by increasing transportation options and reducing the distance traveled between work and home. Smart growth construction, e.g., rehabilitation of historic buildings, repair of bridges helps create jobs. For every 10 jobs created by transit projects, six additional jobs are generated elsewhere. These projects also create proportionally more medium-wage jobs – and fewer low-wage jobs – and benefit those hardest hit by the recession by providing employment opportunities for workers without a college degree.