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Self Management Assessment and Resource Tool (S.M.A.R.T.)

EPA National Community Recognition Program - Question 9

Our community has legislative, zoning, comprehensive plan initiatives and other policies in place or in consideration that include provision for both smart growth and active aging/physical activity programs or opportunities for older adults.


Legislative, zoning, and comprehensive plan initiatives and other policies are necessary instruments to ensure smart growth and active aging programs can be initiated and implemented within your community. Codes need to encourage developers to utilize smart growth principles and create mixed-use developments, priority needs to be given to pedestrians and bicyclists in traffic flow, and parks and open space should encourage community use. Often zoning laws, legislation, and existing comprehensive plans actually inhibit smart growth, so it is important for your community to ensure the framework exists in these codes to support your smart growth and active aging vision.

Getting Started
Begin by examining current statutes for support of smart growth principles and active aging provisions. Consider the main goals you are interested in achieving in your community and what legislation, zoning regulations, transportation, planning, and land use patterns will support your community’s ultimate vision. Then identify necessary revisions and begin building support from the community and local officials to ensure the revisions are realized. The links provided below can aid you in initiating a legislative, zoning and comprehensive plan initiatives. Be sure to have a definitive plan and timeline for realizing these initiatives and policies in relation to your smart growth and active aging community plan.

Internet Resources on Legislative, Zoning and Comprehensive Planning for Smart Growth and Active Aging

Atlanta Regional Commission
Aging in Place
http://www.atlantaregional.com/File%20Library/Local%20Gov%20Services/gs_cct_agingtool_1009.pdf (36 pp, 1.4MB)  Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

International City/County Management Association
Creating a Regulatory Blueprint for Health Communities
http://www.activelivingleadership.org/pdf_file/icma_regulatory_blueprint.pdf  Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

Active Living Leadership
A Primer on Active Living for Government Officials
http://www.activelivingleadership.org/uploads/PDFs/pres_Killingsworth_Jun2004.pdf (36 pp, 1.43MB)  Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

National Conference of State Legislatures
Promoting Walking and Biking
http://www.activelivingleadership.org/uploads/PDFs/pres_Jones_Jan2004.pdf (47 pp, 6.44MB)  Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

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