One moment...

Project/Research Report

Putting Smart Growth to Work in Rural Communities

ICMA Recommended

Many rural communities are facing challenges, including rapid growth at metropolitan edges, declining rural populations, and loss of working lands.   This report  focuses on smart growth strategies that can help guide growth in rural areas while protecting natural and working lands and preserving the rural character of existing communities.  These strategies are based around three central goals: 1) support the rural landscape by creating an economic climate that enhances the viability of working lands and conserves natural lands; 2) help existing places to thrive by taking care of assets and investments such as downtowns, Main Streets, existing infrastructure, and places that the community values; and 3) create great new places by building vibrant, enduring neighborhoods and communities that people, especially young people, don’t want to leave. 

Hard copies of the report are available by emailing or calling (800) 490-9198 and requesting EPA 231-K-10-003.

Comments & Ratings

Please sign in to rate this document.

 One moment...


Excellent report Anna. The buy local campaigns are highly effective enterprises. People from all over the upper midwest flock to Door County, Wisconsin for cherry picking season and many visitors learn to appreciate the tart taste of Door County cherries.

William Emerson

William Emerson said

This report couldn't be more timely. We are a rural, low-density, residential community located between Prescott and Phoenix that incorporated explicitly to preserve our rural character as "Arizona's Country Town." Many of these recommendations are already a part of our strategic plan, but it will be encouraging to Council to see some confirmation of staff's recommendations. Thanks much, Anna!

Kathy Davis

Kathy Davis said

You should add a Small or Rural Communities topic!

Edward Dodson

Edward Dodson said

The report recommends adoption of "Use value taxation ... rather than at its highest market value."

In my experience with community revitalization efforts, this practice only encourages land speculation and the holding of land from needed development in anticipation of a huge profit when public funding is brought to the table to aggregate land parcels for desired redevelopment.

The best way of protecting existing agricultural land is to make the highest, best use of land that is already served by adequate public infrastructure. And, the best way to assure highest, best use of land in a town is the combination of accurate assessments and the adoption of a property tax structure that exempts property improvements from the tax base while collecting the equivalent of the full annual rental value of land parcels. The effect of these measures can be enhanced by comprehensive land use planning that involves ALL stakeholders in the community, with a review of existing zoning, setback requirements, height restrictions and other regulations that impair mixed-use and mixed-income development.

Nigel Griswold

Nigel Griswold said

The title and content of this publication is fabulous - directly on point with the work I am doing as a regional planner and economic development specialist.

I have an issue with the organization of the document: given that I am extremely busy, and don't have time to read all aspects of the document in one sitting. I would strongly recommend a table of contents for this document and all others, as people that are strongly attracted to a title with minimal time want to cut directly to the most relevant material quickly. Sadly, great documents such as these get shelved because folks don't have the time to leaf through and find the most relevant info. Given that this is my focus area, much of the information is already available, but much is not available too. I need a table of contents to find those gems I'm looking for!

Thank-you so much for your great work on such relevant topics.



Posted By