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Creating Great Neighborhoods: Density in Your Community

As communities confront the consequences of low-density development, a more balanced perspective emerges. People are beginning to realize that nodes of more intense development can help achieve local economic development goals, provide housing options, create walkable neighborhoods, and protect their air, water and open space. This balance helps create a sense of place – a place to walk, a place to talk to neighbors, a place to know the children are safe to walk to school.

Planning for Growth: 2002 State of the States

The American Planning Association’s (APA) comprehensive survey of planning reform and smart growth activity in the States between 1999 and 2001 confirms that these subjects are among the top political concerns in statehouses across the nation. Activity is increasing in terms of the number of states taking up these issues, and the depth and breadth of planning-related matters under consideration. APA’s review also identifies a number of common elements that must be present if the states are to succeed in modernizing their comprehensive planning laws and implementing smart growth.

This Is Smart Growth

If you’ve heard the term smart growth and want to know what it actually looks like, this publication is a good starting point. If you’re already familiar with smart growth ideas, this publication can help you educate others. It contains many examples of how smart growth principles have been applied in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural areas; some of these examples may look much like your own community.

Best Development Practices: A Primer for Smart Growth

In Best Development Practices: A Primer, good community development, as distinct from sprawl, is defined in operational terms. Public purposes loom large,though not at the expense of market considerations. Recommendations go to the enlightened edge of current development practice, but not so far beyond as to lose our target audience, the development community. The public purposes pursued though these best practices—among them, affordable housing, energy efficiency, preservation of natural areas, and sense of community—make good business sense.

Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes

Despite the widespread adoption of smart growth principles, there has been little systematic assessment of their effectiveness or consequences. To fill this need, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy collaborated with 14 of the country’s leading public policy researchers and planners to measure performance in four states with statewide smart growth programs (Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon) and performance in four states without such programs (Colorado, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia).

Why Smart Growth: A Primer

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. They are questioning the social costs of the mismatch between new employment locations in the suburbs and the available work-force in the city.

Ten Years of Smart Growth: A Nod to Policies Past and a Prospective Glimpse into the Future

Smart growth policies seek to remove barriers to homeownership, adequate public facilities, and employment opportunities by providing access to valuable land resources in suburban and urban centers. As of 2006, nearly 20 states have implemented smart growth-oriented directives, and many local and regional entities have also incorporated smart growth practices into their comprehensive master plans.

Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions Between Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality

In recent years interest has grown in Smart Growth as a mechanism for improving environmental quality. In Our Built and Natural Environments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) summarizes technical research on the relationship between the built and natural environments, as well as current understanding of the role of development patterns, urban design, and transportation in improving environmental quality.

Economic Benefits of Farmland Preservation: Evidence from the United States

For the last 50 years, local, state and the federal governments have expressed concerns about farmland retention. Four benefits have been used to warrant farmland preservation programs: food security and local food supply, viable local agricultural economy, environmental and rural amenities, and sound fiscal policy and orderly development. We explore the available evidence of how well farmland preservation programs have provided these benefits.

Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned

As the food and financial crises bring fresh urgency to concerns over hunger, food access, public health, labor and economic development - citizens and governments are beginning to connect these issues back to the food system as a whole. Councils are springing up across North America to “connect the dots” between the growing number of neighborhood food initiatives and communities forging policies for just, healthy food systems.

Community Gardening in Philadelphia:2008 Harvest Report

This report summarizes research on the state of community and squatter gardens in Philadelphia, with a focus on the production and distribution of food. The specific aims of this project were to measure the amount of food grown in community gardens and to trace its distribution. The broader goal of this ongoing research is to understand the roles and impacts of community gardens in building food security for households and communities. It involved three sorts of research, all conducted in the summer of 2008:

A Meta-Analysis of Cost of Community Service Studies

Cost of community service (COCS) studies, which compare the ratio of expenditures-to-revenues for different land uses, are increasingly popular and influential in debates about municipal landuse planning. In this paper, we conduct a quantitative meta-analysis of COCS studies that focus on three land-use categories: residential, commercial/industrial, and agricultural/open-space. The dataset consists of 125 studies that take place across the United States. Using data from the studies themselves and the U.S.

Planning a Food-Secure Future: Recommemdations for Vancouver's New City Market

As a result of heightened awareness surrounding global issues of climate change and peak oil, along with threats to our local agricultural system, demand for local food is increasing in Vancouver and surrounding Lower Mainland. In response to these growing concerns regarding Food Security, the Vancouver Food Policy Council and Local Food First conceived of a local Food Hub, and additional Local Food Precincts. The Hub would serve as a central location for local food producers and consumers to meet, with the aim of increasing local food distribution and consumption in the Lower Mainland.

Opening a Farmers Market on Federal Property: A Guide for Market Operators and Building Managers

This publication discusses the issues involved in locating a farmers market on federal property: security, insurance needs, parking, the use of utilities and amenities, and all the other things you need to consider. It tells who to contact for information, points to some helpful government Web sites and offices, and offers case studies of successful farmers markets on public property.

What Have We Learned from Over 20 Years of Farmland Amenity Valuation Research in North America?

At least thirty studies have been conducted in North America over the last twenty-plus years that measure amenity values generated by farmland. A review of these studies provides evidence that estimated farmland amenity values are sensitive to increasing acreage, regional scarcity, alternative land use(s), public accessibility, productivity quality, human food plants, active farming, and intensive agriculture. Farmland amenity values are also

Establishing Land Use Protections for Farmers’ Markets

Local governments can promote healthy eating and active living in their communities by supporting local farmers’ markets. Local farmers’ markets provide fresh produce to community residents, support small farmers, serve as gathering places, and revitalize community centers and downtown areas. There are many ways that local governments can promote farmers markets.

A Planners Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning: Transforming Food Environments, Facilitating Healthy Eating

Food nourishes us, enriches our celebrations, and sustains life itself. Yet not everyone in the United States has equal access to healthy food. Some of us live in neighborhoods where grocery stores carry a greater variety of potato chips than vegetables, while some of us cannot afford vegetables even when they are available. This report shows how planners can play a significant role in shaping the food environment of communities and thereby facilitate healthy eating.

Nutrition Incentives at Farmers’ Markets: Bringing Fresh, Healthy, Local Foods Within Reach

Based on visits and interviews, this report profiles pilot programs that match and expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),1 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP), and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) dollars spent at farmers markets.

Community Food Systems: Strengthening Community Health and Economy

Planners have historically focused on air, water, shelter and food. In the 19th century, as cities expanded, light and air gained prominence in an effort to combat public health concerns and disease. In the early 20th century, the garden city movement addressed the role of food in relation to planning. This relationship was lost for decades, but now food is moving to the fore once again - regionally, nationally and globally.

Identifying Our Climate “Foodprint": Assessing and Reducing the Global Warming Impacts of Food and Agriculture in the U.S.

To meet the challenges associated with a GHG-restricted world and shifting climate, our food and agricultural systems need to be transformed. As a sector that is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, our agricultural systems must integrate mitigation and adaptation: not only must they adapt to more unstable weather and shifting climate patterns, but they must also result in fewer overall GHG emissions. To achieve this, our food and agricultural systems must be diverse, decentralized, resilient and synergistic.

Food, Fuel and the Future: Consumer Perceptions of Local Food, Food Safety and Climate Change in the Context of Rising Prices

In the past year, rising fuel and food prices coupled with increased concerns about environmental impacts and safety of our food supply have prompted a number of actions by U.S. consumers regarding their food purchases. Against this backdrop of rising prices, demand for locally grown food products continues to increase.

"Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program"

The Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) awards grants to States, United States Territories, and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs. The majority of the grant funds must be used to support the costs of the foods that are provided under the SFMNP; State agencies may use up to 10 percent of their grants to support administrative costs for the program.

"Food Stamp Act of 1977"

The Food Stamp Act serves to strengthen the agricultural economy; to help to achieve a fuller and more effective use of food abundances; to provide for improved levels of nutrition among low-income households through a cooperative Federal-State program of food assistance to be operated through normal channels of trade; and for other purposes.

Hugh Hammond Bennett and the Creation of the Soil Erosion Service

The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) was created in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by an act of Congress on April 27, 1935. However, an earlier date, September 19, 1933 should not pass without recognition. That date marks the selection of Hugh Hammond Bennett as the director of the Soil Erosion Service (SES), predecessor to SCS.1 Creation of the Soil Erosion Service was critical to the future of Federal soil conservation activities, the history of SCS, and Bennett’s recognition as the “father of soil conservation.”

Census of Agriculture

The Census of Agriculture is the most comprehensive source of data portraying our nation’s agriculture over time. The census is conducted every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) and is used by government agencies, policymakers, producers, farm and ranch organizations, and state and local governments to plan for agriculture and to implement farmrelated programs and policies.

Sustaining Agriculture in Urbanizing Counties: Insights from 15 Coordinated Case Studies

Many important agricultural counties in the United States are urbanizing; and the long-term viability of farming there is in doubt despite considerable public policy efforts to retain the financial, employment, consumer, and other benefits of local farming enterprises. Focusing on 15 metro-area counties in 14 states, the study's purpose was to identify conditions under which farming may remain viable as important agricultural counties transition to become mostly urban and suburban in land use.

Review of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program

In November, the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee released its comprehensive evaluation of the state’s farmland protection program. Senate Resolution 2007-197 called for the assessment as the program approached its 20th anniversary and directed the committee to address nineteen issues—everything from project selection criteria to the potential use of state funds for enforcement actions.

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