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Land Use Planning, Biological Conservation and Open Space Preservation

What's Hot
  • Find videos from EPA's Smart Growth Program and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities on our Webinars, Videos, and Podcasts page. Here, you can watch how communities across the country are putting smart growth in action!
  • Check out EPA’s Smart Location Database, a consistent nationwide data resource for measuring location efficiency. It includes over 90 variables characterizing the built environment, transit service, destination accessibility, employment, and demographics at the census block group scale. You can download data for your selected region, view data online in an interactive map, or access the data through a variety of web services.
  • EPA hosts the Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series to assist local governments as they explore and plan climate change and clean energy efforts. Check out the upcoming webcasts  here.

Land use planning is a critical element in developing vibrant and livable communi­ties while ensuring economic vitality.  Develop­ment of compact areas, even in small downtown areas, can reduce travel times, help preserve open space and reduce the commercial pressure to sprawl.

Biological conservation and open space preservation also garner high levels of public support because of the attractiveness of open spaces and their value to local residents both socially (aesthetic appeal and recreation opportunities) and economically.

Learn more in the Land Use Planning Chapter and the Biological Conservation and Open Space Preservation Chapter of Planning for a Sustainable Future - A Guide for Local Governments [PDF 4.9 MB, 58 pp].

What You Can Do

Informed planning and insightful land management are great ways for our communities to benefit socially as well as environmentally. Communities can pass green building ordinances that establish performance standards for public or private construction and solicit citizen input on how community land is managed.

Success Story:
Established in 1978, GreenThumb remains the nation's largest urban gardening program, assisting over 600 gardens and nearly 20,000 garden members throughout New York City. This program fosters civic participation and encourages neighborhood revitalization.

Playbook of strategies for green buildings and infrastructure
EPA Managing Open Spaces
EPA Region 2 Green Building’s Page
EPA Greenscaping
Community Gardening in New York City
What is Smart Growth?


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