'Smart growth' on the rise in U.S. metropolitan regions
The term 'smart growth' is a bit of a misnomer because it should very well be inherent logic - smart growth takes into consideration issues such as land-use, the environment and economic concerns. According to smartgrowth.org:
In communities across the nation, there is a growing concern that current development patterns -- dominated by what some call "sprawl" -- are no longer in the long-term interest of our cities, existing suburbs, small towns, rural communities, or wilderness areas. Though supportive of growth, communities are questioning the economic costs of abandoning infrastructure in the city, only to rebuild it further out.
Underdeveloped properties like parking lots, commercial spaces and former industrial sites are being replaced with condos, apartments and townhouses, EPA said, implying an emphasis on the reuse of already developed infrastructure to protect air and water quality and preserve natural lands and critical environmental areas.
To examine whether these examples represented a fundamental shift in residential construction, the agency looked at census data on residential building permits for the 50 largest metropolitan regions in the past 18 years. In half of the metropolitan areas examined, urban communities saw a dramatic increase in new residential building permits, EPA found.