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Where Are We Going? - Case Studies

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Step Two
Trends Analysis
Pendleton, California Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Carl Steinitz/Allan Shearer
Department of Landscape Architecture
Graduate School of Design
Harvard University
48 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Bulldozer clearing lot of debrisHarvard University, Utah State University, the US Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy, and others conducted a study of this rapidly developing area between San Diego and Los Angeles, California. The area covers five major river drainage basins and some ecologically sensitive areas. A computer-based GIS (Geographic Information System) was used to give visual pictures of current environmental conditions. Six alternative scenarios of future development to 2010 and then on to build-out were developed to give a sense of what could happen to the area. (The population is expected to increase by about 500,000 by that date.) The first scenario was based on current local and regional plans. The second scenario followed the same pattern but implemented conservation measures starting in 2010. The third scenario has large lots and the management of important habitat areas. The fourth scenario has cluster development. The fifth scenario has one new city where most growth occurs. Visual preferences were given consideration. Another consideration was the potential for flooding. Biodiversity was analyzed in three ways, by ecological patterns, by potential habitats for ten species, and by species richness. Highest priority locations were designated. While no recommendations were made as to actions which should be taken, it is hoped that the study will be used by stakeholders to work together to make informed decisions and positively affect the future.

Maryland's Smart Growth Program Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Maryland Office of Planning
301 West Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-2365

Maryland's Smart Growth Program has looked at development trends in their state. Smart Growth has three straightforward goals:

Possible Futures for Muddy Creek, Oregon Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Dr. David Hulse
Institute for a Sustainable Environment
University of Oregon
130 Hendricks Hall
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1209
(541) 346-3672

Richard Sumner
Regional Ecology Branch
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
200 SW 35th Street
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
(541) 754-4444

This project, led by researchers from the University of Oregon, created possible futures for the Muddy Creek area of Benton County, Oregon. Each of the scenarios reflected a combination of agricultural, forestry, and residential land use practices of varying intensity. Predictions were made on how each scenario will affect local ecological resources, specifically water quality and biodiversity. The results were given to local governments and watershed councils to help support their land use planning.

Shaping Future Development: The Role of Current Zoning
A Build Out Study of Central and Western Montgomery County, PA
[PDF, 14 pp., 627KB]

Montgomery County Planning Commission
Montgomery County Courthouse
P.O. Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311
(610) 278-3722
FAX (610) 278-3941

This study looked at possible future development in the central and western municipalities of Montgomery County, PA under current zoning ordinances. The municipalities studied were chosen due to their high growth rates and amount of developable land. This study found that future development is likely to be characterized by low-rise, suburban-style shopping and office centers and large-lot, single- family detached housing. As communities become more fully developed, this pattern of land use may conflict with stated community development objectives such as 1) preserving community character and historic assets 2) providing efficient and cost effective public services 3) providing a variety of travel modes 4) avoiding congestion and 5) providing a reason- able range of housing types.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

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