The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is the regional planning agency for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, which includes 5 million people living in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. As part of implementing Region Forward, its regional visioning document, MWCOG requested assistance from EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program with assessing climate change risks to the region, identifying smart growth strategies that would improve the region's capacity to adapt to climate change, and disseminating those strategies to local decision-makers.
With input from MWCOG’s stakeholders, the EPA team developed Using Smart Growth Strategies to Create More Resilient Communities in the Washington, D.C., Region (2013), a guidebook to give local governments policy options to consider when preparing for future climate risks while also meeting other environmental, economic, and social goals. The guidebook describes smart growth approaches that can help communities prepare for current and projected risks to the land use, transportation, water, and buildings sectors.
The approaches are grouped under three main strategies:
- Discourage new development in particularly vulnerable areas.
- Protect people and assets in vulnerable areas.
- Encourage sustainable growth in appropriate, less-vulnerable areas.
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