An Ohio Central Ohio farms
Smart Growth

Promoting sensible development and livable communities, maintaining historic cities and towns, preserving farmland and open space, and reducing tax burdens on future generations

In the first half of this century, Ohio led the nation in progressive land use planning. But in the last 50 years, we seem to have forgotten that legacy. Instead, we have promoted sprawling patterns of growth that have turned thousands and thousands of acres of productive farmland and environmentally important open spaces into subdivisions, strip shopping malls and light industrial parks.

But we have better alternatives. We can manage growth and development in Ohio to create strong, livable communities in both urban and rural areas of the state. We can do this by adopting an Ohio Smart Growth Agenda, which harnesses the power of state investment to influence the location of new development and promote the redevelopment of existing cities and towns.

The Ohio Smart Growth Agenda includes:

  • A brief history of Ohio's progressive land use traditions
  • Overviews of demographic and land use trends in the state
  • The major state activities and policies that shape and direct growth and development
  • The major elements of an Ohio Smart Growth policy
  • A proposed process for implementing smart growth in Ohio

We feel a sense of urgency about the need for change. More than almost any state in the nation, Ohio has lots of developing urban edgesmany metropolitan areas all Painesvillespreading outward rapidly. Another generation of this sprawl will bring a huge leap in urbanized area and impose tremendous costs on our children.

We realize that our smart growth recommendations are just the beginning of a much longer work in progressa conversation that will involve many thousands of people and diverse constituencies around the state. But we believe that we are contributing to a recent ground swell of concern. We hope our contribution will be a catalyst for a growing movement to create a more sustainable future for land use in Ohio.

The Ohio Smart Growth Agenda was developed with the assistance of researchers at the American Planning Association. Thanks to the Katherine and Lee Chilcote Foundation for supporting the development and printing of the agenda. Thanks also to the George Gund Foundation, Nord Family Foundation and U.S. EPA's Smart Growth Network for supporting the Fall '98 meeting of the National Growth Management Leadership Project, a national meeting of smart growth advocates which we hosted and which coincided with the public release of this agenda on October 2, 1998.


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Copyright 2002-2003

Ohio Smart Growth Agenda
Overview: Ohio's time to choose
The smart growth challenge
Maryland's excellent example
Who needs smart growth?
Myths about sprawl and smart growth
Voices for smart growth

Smart Growth Working Paper
Part I: Historical background
Part II: Overview of trends
Part III: State agencies' policies
Part IV: Land-use planning models
Part V: Smart growth for Ohio
Next steps

Download PDF file of the Ohio Smart Growth Agenda (40-page document, 839 KB).


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