“Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level,” Available


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Aug. 16, 2004

 

Regional Web Site and Multimedia CD-ROM,
“Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level,” Available

 

A multimedia CD-ROM titled “Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level” and an accompanying Web site at www.mwcog.org/planning/planning/smartgrowth/ are now available to inform and educate elected officials, civic groups, the development community and residents about the land use and transportation challenges currently facing the region. This CD is a part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Metropolitan Development Policy Committee’s ongoing efforts to create regional dialogue about smart growth and variables that affect it. “Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level” is a tool to help stakeholders understand all sides of the issue better.

COG’s Metropolitan Development Policy Committee began in 2000 to consider ways to encourage information sharing among local area officials and to provide a better understanding of the regional context and impact of local planning policies and actions. Approved by COG in April 2004, “Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level” is the product of this effort. The CD is focused on developing partnerships that engage all stakeholders, aim to minimize conflicts and result in the highest quality growth.

In “Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level,” the accepted principles of smart growth are candidly introduced and discussed in the context of the varied and distinct communities across the region. The CD highlights the responsibilities and successes of local government policies while acknowledging the common concerns which elected officials and citizens encounter (e.g., neighborhood opposition, traffic, loss of open space, increased density, etc.). The CD and accompanying Web site contain numerous examples of local best management or best development practices. It also provides examples of smart growth such as walkable communities, mixed use and transit-oriented development located in Fairfax County and the region.

Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova (Braddock District), a member of the COG Metropolitan Development Policy Committee, said, “In a culture where smart growth sometimes means all things to all people, the CD illustrates graphically and effectively some common principles that make for good land use planning.”

The CD-ROM is viewed as a good resource and learning tool for organizations such as neighborhood associations and civic groups, environmental organizations, the development community, and staff from local academic institutions such as George Mason University and the University of Virginia. It is an important component of the COG Board’s recently-approved three-year policy focus on growth-related issues in metropolitan Washington, and it can be used as one of the tools to help educate citizens about sound land use planning.

To view “Smart Growth Begins at the Local Level” online or to order a copy of the video on CD-ROM, visit the COG Web site at www.mwcog.org/planning/planning/smartgrowth/.

For more information, call Paul DesJardin, COG chief of Housing and Planning, at 202-962-3293, TTY 202-962-3213 or e-mail pdesjardin@mwcog.org.


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