GIS Story Maps: A Tool to Empower and Engage Stakeholders in Planning Sustainable Places

A growing movement recognizes that patterns of land use and development have long-term environmental, social, and economic consequences. Sustainable land use planning, or Smart Growth, can shape vibrant communities, build strong economies, and foster a healthy environment. The American Planning Association (APA) advocates the integration of Smart Growth principles into local government planning practices to “…promote efficient and sustainable land development, incorporate redevelopment patterns that optimize prior infrastructure investments, and consume less land that is otherwise available for agriculture, open space, natural systems, and rural lifestyles.” While there is no universal approach to Smart Growth, APA asserts that comprehensive plans (or Land Use Master Plans) should serve as a foundation for Smart Growth. Comprehensive plans set forth a community vision for growth and development. They should also provide a planning framework for the implementation of local government policies/regulations that achieve a sustainable community (as defined by the Institute for Sustainable Communities)—one that is economically, environmentally, and socially healthy and resilient. In addition to comprehensive plans, many state and local governments have developed Smart Growth scorecards or assessment tools to help decision-makers evaluate the extent to which land use plans and policies meet their criteria for Smart Growth. These scorecards can help local jurisdictions evaluate the effectiveness of their land use planning and development goals and establish a policy agenda or framework for sustainability. While the Office of Sustainable Communities at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has collected and organized a wide variety of municipal-level and project-specific scorecards, developed by a number of state and local governments, there has not been an evaluation of Smart Growth scorecards. An evaluation of Smart Growth scorecards is needed to determine best practices that can help jurisdictions of all sizes establish a policy agenda or framework for sustainability. The MATS UTC research team, led by the University of Delaware (UD), proposes to help fill this gap in the literature with exploratory research on of the use of Smart Growth scorecards as the basis of evaluating community sustainability goals that are set forth in comprehensive plans. A review and assessment of “best practice” smart growth scorecards will be conducted for states and select urban, suburban, and rural local government jurisdictions with the UTC Region 3 area. This approach broadly reflects smart growth principles and represents a significant advancement in the field of the implementation of smart growth techniques and tools. These innovations have great potential impact on designing and testing a scorecard tool for citizens and decision makers to determine whether or not a community is growing smart and implementing policy changes based on scorecard responses.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $256469
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability Center

      University of Virginia
      Charlottesville, VA  United States 

      University of Delaware, Newark

      College of Engineering
      Newark, DE  United States  19711

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability Center

      University of Virginia
      Charlottesville, VA  United States 
    • Project Managers:

      Burden, Lindsay

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Delaware, Newark

      College of Engineering
      Newark, DE  United States  19711

      Marshall University, Huntington

      College of Information Technology and Engineering
      One John Marshall Drive
      Huntington, WV  United States  25755
    • Principal Investigators:

      Scott, Marcia

      Nguyen, Tuan

      Dayan, Sinaya

      Edwards, Savannah

      Cragle, Jeff

    • Start Date: 20140901
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20160831

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01659463
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mid-Atlantic Transportation Sustainability Center
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: Feb 6 2018 1:20PM