Georgia County Government - May/June 2008 - (Page 47)

Feature Smart Growth Scorecard Gives Communities a Way to Grade New Developments he smart growth movement may have started in heavily urbanized areas, but the basics are as fundamental as the town square and traditional neighborhood, two triedand-true ways of building communities. Now there’s a new tool to help communities of all sizes test proposed mixed-use developments for smart growth qualities like walkability, housing choice, easy access to greenspace and optimum use of existing infrastructure. The new Smart Growth Scorecard is a 50-question survey developed by the Livable Communities Coalition, a catalyst for smart growth in metro Atlanta. It’s designed to grade mixed- T For More Information To learn more about the Smart Growth Scorecard program, request an application packet, or see the scorecard’s 50 criteria, contact John Maximuk, program director for the Livable Communities Coalition, at 404-214-0081, ext. 21, or Or visit the Coalition Web site – – and click on the link to the scorecard on the home page. use projects before construction. The scorecard is based on a template developed by the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, a venture of Smart Growth America and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It gives governments, citizens and developers a thorough and systematic way to review and grade proposed development. Copies of the scorecard are available free from the Livable Communities Coalition. Proposed developments earn points on each of 50 questions on the scorecard. Questions are grouped in eight categories: location and availability of basic services; density and compactness; diverse mix of land uses; housing choice; accessibility, mobility, and connectivity; pedestrian safety, streetscapes, and parking; environmental protection; and community needs. “Giving people a choice of housing, a walkable environment, and a good network of streets is a formula for a higher quality of life in every community,” said Jim Durrett, executive director of the Livable Communities Coalition. The scorecard promotes smart growth principles. An alternative to traditional suburban sprawl, smart growth has become increasingly popular. Sometimes called new urbanism, quality growth, or traditional neighborhood design, smart growth emphasizes vibrant downtowns or town centers, communities with a strong sense of place, and neighborhoods that offer walking and cycling as alternatives to driving. The scorecard can be used to formally grade development. Points can be earned on each criterion on a scale of 0-3, with an overall average of 2.0 points – equivalent to “very good” – needed for approval. Or, it can be used informally by citizens or planning departments as a checklist for proposed development. The Livable Communities Coalition created the scorecard as a way to promote smart growth projects in metro Atlanta. Developers whose proposed projects make the grade get recognition when it counts most – pre-construction. Results are summarized in a written report. The Coalition may also speak publicly on behalf of deserving projects. Outside the Atlanta region, the Coalition hopes the detailed scorecard questions can serve as a convenient way to check any mixed-use development for smart growth qualities. ■ MAY/JUNE 2008 47

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - May/June 2008

Georgia County Government - May/June 2008
President’s Message
County Matters
ACCG 2008 Annual Meeting: Highlights
County Focus: Clayton County
Negotiating a Professional Service Firm Contract: Part 3
Counties Get Involved in Efforts to End Sexual Abuse of Children
Smart Growth Scorecard Gives Communities a Way to Grade New Developments
Wireless Technologies Critical for First Responders
Research Corner: The ACCG Policy Process
RDCs Assist the USS Georgia Flag Project
Extension News: Animals Take Spotlight in Disaster Planning
Georgia’s Grand Old Courthouses: Grady County
NACo News: Green Initiative Launches Searchable Database
Insurance News: ACCG Announces New Inmate Medical Savings Program
County Parade
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - May/June 2008