Earlier this week our friends at Smart Growth America published a fascinating and innovative report entitled Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development. Strategic Economics staff members Sarah and Alison led the firm’s contribution to this report and were supported by Dena and Sujata. The report is a must read because it is the first of its kind to aggregate the studies that municipalities across the nation have conducted to understand both the costs and revenues associated with smart growth development. In some cases, like Charlotte, North Carolina the team’s research revealed that the increased road connectivity enabled via smarter development allowed the fire department to reach residents more easily, and thus lowered the city’s service costs. In other instances, like the original research Strategic Economics conducted on smart growth development in Nashville, Tennessee the findings were similarly interesting. SE’s Sarah Graham found that a smart growth project in a brownfield location could generate two times as much revenue per unit (and 42 times as much revenue per acre) as a conventional suburban development in a greenfield location. Wow, talk about incentive to reconsider the ways we develop land!
May 24, 2013