Peak & Prairie
June / July 1999
HOW SMART IS YOUR COMMUNITY’S GROWTH?
by Greg Casini, RMC Chair
We hear the term “smart growth” a lot these days. It was originally coined by Governor Romer to describe the kind of growth he could support. Not surprisingly, every developer since then has come out in favor of smart growth. Of course they have. Who would go on the record as opposing something labeled “smart”? There’s just one problem—they neglect to state what sort of growth they consider smart. That’s not surprising either. From the perspective of most developers, all growth, by definition, is smart.
With Colorado’s population increasing at the third highest rate in the country, with agricultural land and wildlife habitat being lost at an alarming rate, with traffic congestion and commuting times getting worse by the week—it’s time for Colorado to not only define smart growth, but to insist on it.
How do we establish criteria for what constitutes smart growth? I suggest asking the residents of Colorado—the very people whose lives are being affected on a daily basis by the growth and development that is occurring all around them. Any type of growth that is smart for Colorado will also be good for our families and our future.
Is the type of growth and development that is happening in your community benefiting your family and your future? Take the smart growth test to find out. Answer yes or no to each question, then add the number of positive responses.
COMMUNITY SMART GROWTH TEST
Is the growth and development that is occurring around you:
Needed and wanted by the residents of your community?
Occurring only in appropriate areas within your community?
Occurring slowly enough that your community can absorb it?
Fitting into your community in a way that preserves its character?
Well managed by your local elected officials with adequate citizen input?
Strengthening the social fabric of your community?
Promoting cultural diversity?
Strengthening the sense of community in your neighborhood?
Making it easier for you to know your neighbors?
Reducing crime and fear in your neighborhood?
Providing a safe and healthy environment in which to raise your children?
Preserving open space and wildlife habitat for future generations?
Leading to an expansion of parks in your neighborhood?
Leading to an increase in recreational opportunities in your community?
Improving the quality of your children’s education?
Safeguarding air and water quality in your community?
Restoring past environmental damage in your neighborhood?
Conserving natural resources so that adequate supplies will be available in the future?
Increasing the options for recycling in your community?
Alleviating noise and visual pollution in your community?
Increasing your transit options and reducing your need to travel by car?
Alleviating traffic congestion and decreasing your commuting time to work?
Making it easier for you to live closer to your place of employment?
Making housing more affordable for your family?
Paying for itself rather than raising your taxes to provide for new services?
Diversifying the local economy?
Attracting industries that benefit our lives, communities AND environment?
Creating good jobs that will be there in the future?
Reducing rather than contributing to the stress in your life?
Enhancing your families’ overall quality of life?
How did your community score?
25-30 Just where in Western Europe do you live?
19-24 Don’t tell anyone where you live - they’ll move there in droves!
13-18 Become active in the Sierra Club - there’s real hope for your community!
7-12 May I suggest a relocation service?
0-6 And you thought you left Los Angeles for good!
June 1999 Online Newsletter - Peak & Prairie Home Page - Rocky Mountain Chapter Home Page