By Cheryl Weber.
The pressing concerns facing Americans as the year comes to a close haven't managed to dislodge smart growth issues from their radar screens. Here's a sampling of consumers' take on close-to-home issues:
The number of land-use measures that went before voters last month is on par with last year, and will amount to billions of dollars of revenue in referendums, according to the Trust for Public Land. From 1998 to 2001, voters in 72 percent of 553 cities, states, and towns said "yes" to smart growth referendums to stop sprawl, preserve open space, and create development related to rail, says TPL.
Some 66 percent of Americans support requiring that all new housing developments include at least 15 percent of housing for moderate and low-income families, says a report by Smart Growth America, a nationwide coalition promoting a better way to grow. More than 80 percent believe in tax incentives to revitalize neglected neighborhoods.
In a 2002 survey by the Land Trust Alliance — which provides resources, leadership, and training to nonprofit, grassroots land trusts — 73 percent of respondents said that knowing a candidate for the U.S. House or Senate supported a measure to create a permanent land and water conservation fund would make them more likely to vote for that candidate.
(For more about smart growth, see Sprawling Scene.)
Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, December 2002