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Key Principles

Below are some of the leading visions and frameworks that are emerging to help reshape and guide community land use decisions toward sustainability and quality of life.

Principles for Better Land Use Policy The National Governors' Association offers these principles to promote smart growth and open space preservation.

Policy Guide on Smart Growth The American Planning Association adopted this policy guide in 2002. It includes a statement of smart growth principles and definitions, as well as specific motions and outcomes.

Principles of Smart Growth Members of Minnesota's Smart Growth Network endorse these ten principles.

Ahwahnee Principles A highly acclaimed set of community and regional principles developed by a leading group of architects and urban planners to assist local government officials in planning for quality of life and sustainability.

New Urbanism/Neo-Traditional Planning An urban design reform movement to restore urban centers, build cohesive neighborhoods and districts, conserve natural environments, and preserve the legacy of our built environment.

Ecological Landscape Planning A procedure for studying the biophysical and sociocultural systems of a place to reveal where a specific land use may be best practiced.

Land Use Agenda for 21st Century America A ten-item agenda for sustainable land use practices to promote stewardship, quality development, and environmental progress. The agenda appears in Land Use in America, (available from Island Press) the report on the Sustainable Use of Land Project by Henry L. Diamond and Patrick F. Noonan. The agenda was developed through collaboration and consultation with planners, conservationists, mayors, corporate chief executives, builders, farmers, and policy activists.

Smart Growth Principles Six principles that are considered good growth practices by the Sacramento Region Blueprint, a joint effort of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and Valley Vision.

Smart Growth Principles (PDF) A set of eight principles used by the Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative to define smart growth.

Sustainable Community Design Principles Seven principles put forth by the Florida Center in its report Transportation, Land Use and Sustainability, describing the backbones of a theory of sustainable community design.