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Where Do We Want To Be? - Case Studies

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Step Three
Vision Statement
Horse & Carriage City Tour

"I don't believe there's a challenge anywhere in the world that's more important to people everywhere than finding solutions to the problems of our communities."
Walt Disney

Celebration Information Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

700 Celebration Place
Celebration, FL 34747
(407) 566-4663

Celebration is the first planned community developed by the Walt Disney Company. It was developed as a pre-40's type of town with classical architecture, garages behind the houses, and everything within walking distance. There is a mix of housing stock from apartments on up. Celebration includes a K - 12 public school. The Walt Disney Company owns the downtown, golf course and office park. One criticism has been the cost of the project, put at $2.5 billion.

The Community of Civano

10501 East Seven Generations Way
Tucson, Arizona 85747
(520) 885-6930 or (888) 2-CIVANO

Civano's planning integrates residential communities with shopping, workplace, school, and civic facilities essential to the daily life of the residents, as well as parks and natural open spaces vital for relaxation, enjoyment, and preservation of the area's natural landscape and heritage. Passive and active solar principles, sustainable building materials, and water conservation technologies are key elements across Civano. Every neighborhood will have gathering places such as coffee shops and small commercial enterprises. Most of these are within walking distance of each other, conserving resources and minimizing waste.

Hudson River Valley Greenway
Capitol Building
Capitol Station, Room 254
Albany, NY 12224
(518) 473-3835

Communities in this 10-county, 3 million acre valley in New York State are encouraged by the Hudson River Valley Greenway (a planning agency) to use common planning ideas and criteria in their local decisions about land use. If they do so, they receive financial benefits. Required are a committee made up of locals, development of a community planning profile, and development of a vision based on input from a series of public meetings. The Greenway Conservancy assists in implementation of the plans which are developed. Although separate, the two organizations work closely together. One success story is the town of Stuyvesant, a rural area with agriculture as the primary land use. Through town meetings, workshops and surveys, a comprehensive land use plan was developed which kept agriculture as its main issue.

Portland Future Focus Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

City of Portland, Office of Finance & Administration
1120 SW Fifth Ave., Room 1250
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 823-6990

Check out the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning. for ideas on zoning and overlay districts that will help the city grow smarter. Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Portland's focus on determining its future began in the 1970's when it was called upon by the State of Oregon to develop a land use plan. Its plan covers 24 cities in three counties. And, unlike most other growing cities, Portland has stood up to pressure from developers, including the threat of lawsuits. Portland passed the toughest development laws in the US. In essence, Portland drew a line around its metropolitan area, saying that all future development should occur there and that outside areas should remain undeveloped open space. More specifically, the city decided that downtown Portland should be the center for government, business, and cultural activities and should be pedestrian friendly. Growth is allowed in the 364-square mile area around this core. Light rail connects the core with nine smaller business and shopping areas.

Portland Future Focus began in January 1990. Portland's visioning process relied more on a broad-based group of targeted community representatives that reflected the city's population than working with the community at large. The community, however, was involved in several ways. There were 44 stakeholders who served as advisers and there were eight public meetings. A monthly newsletter was distributed to all those requesting copies.

Work towards a visioning statement was done in several steps:

  1. A comprehensive environmental assessment that included city, regional, national, and international trends.
  2. A survey of 400 residents to determine community values.
  3. A vision developed during a two-day meeting by the 55-member policy committee.
  4. Development of strategic goals.

Implementation of the plan was begun in April 1991 and is proceeding well. A survey mailed to every household produced over 17,000 responses as to growth management choices. Neighborhoods are being designed to foster communication among citizens. The transit system is on its way to move people rapidly throughout the area. Almost 5,000 acres of land have been set aside for parks and green spaces. As a result of its efforts, Portland's property values rose and its population has increased as more and more companies locate there. Currently, planning is underway for expected growth over the next 50 years. This regional planing effort has been named Region 2040.

Smart Growth - Options for Maryland's Tributary Strategies

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

Maryland's Tributary Strategies identify management priorities for nutrient pollution control called management options which are designed to reduce 1985 nutrient pollutant loads from each of Maryland's major tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay by 40%. When the goal is reached in each tributary, it becomes the permanent limit for nutrient loads, i.e., the loads are to be capped at 60% of 1985 levels.The Tributary Strategies focus on point sources and urban and agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs). However, Directed Growth and Resource Protection options can be equally important factors in reducing nutrients over time. This is especially true in fast growing watersheds. The report Smart Growth Options for Maryland's Tributary Strategies shows how State Growth Policy and Smart Growth principles can be productively used to benefit the Tributary Strategies and maintain the nutrient cap. It identifies growth management options; describes how the techniques affect land and water resources and nutrient pollution loads; provides tributary and county-specific examples of the techniques and their projected effects; and provides guidelines for implementation that will protect local watersheds and make it possible to maintain the nutrient reduction caps established for the Tributary Strategies.

Michigan Energy Options (formerly UrbanOptions) Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Under Urban Options, the Sustainable Lansing group developed a "Declaration of Principals" evident in the organization's current programs:

  1. Prevention is Better Than Cure
  2. Nothing Stands Alone (consider local, regional, and global impacts on social and natural systems)
  3. Careful Waste Reduction
  4. Use of Renewable Resources and Recyclable Materials
  5. Environmental Stewardship (growth will enhance the environment and minimize disturbances)
  6. Community Economic Development
  7. Encourage Diversity, Equity, and Individual Opportunity (promote activities which positively impact underserved community members)
  8. Research and Education (teachers and students will participate in community problem-solving)
  9. Community Involvement in Planning and Development
Union County, Pennsylvania

Union County, PA, the first county in the U.S. to be designated as a Green Community by the EPA, developed a program based on "sustainability", "preservation of sacred places", "developing a community consensus", and "creating a case study" for future activities.

Uptown District Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

Planning Department
City of San Diego
Administrative Building
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 236-6000

San Diego's mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented redevelopment called Uptown District works well with the existing neighborhood. And, San Diego is in the midst of visioning work Exit EPA Click for Disclaimerfor their Strategy "2020." The thrust is to determine how San Diego will accomodate the growth that is expected.

Zhuhai, China

The Municipal Government of Zhuhai, China developed a scientific and reasonable plan to turn an isolated fishing village into a modern seaside garden city that provides its residents with supporting infrastructure, perfect ecological environment, good livelihood, and coordinated development of economy, society, and environment.

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