Preservation Institute: The Natural Environment - The Social Environment

Home Page

What We Believe

Publications

Transportation and Development Politics

Political Theory: Beyond Progressive and Conservative

Preservation Institute Blog


email us

 

 

 

Stopping Suburban Sprawl


Suburbanization drains the vitality of older neighborhoods and creates endless urbanized regions that are dependent on the private automobile. This page lists groups working to stop sprawl.

  • CEDS (Community & Environmental Defense Services): This is where to go if you are working locally against unsustainable development. They will give you advice on how to run a grassroots campaign and on where to find legal and other professional help.
  • Smart Growth America: A nationwide coalition promoting growth that protects farmland and open space, revitalizes neighborhoods, keeps housing affordable, and makes communities more livable.
  • The Smart Growth Network: Helps create national, regional and local coalitions to encourage development that is environmentally, fiscally, and economically. This site provides many resources.
  • American Farmland Trust Working nationwide to protect farmland from urban sprawl -- by working with individual farmers and communities, and by promoting better better public policies at the local, state and federal level, and by educating the public. Also encourages farmers to adopt sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Land Trust Alliance: Promotes voluntary land conservation by providing resources, skills, and information to people who want to set up land trusts.
  • 1000 Friends of Oregon: This group lobbied to give Oregon the country's most effective land-use planning laws, which require every city and town in the state to create an Urban Growth Boundary. It is now working on integrated land-use, transportation and air quality planning.
  • 1000 Friends of Maryland: A statewide coalition modeled on 1000 Friends of Oregon, working "to expand efforts to redirect Maryland's growth and to strengthen existing communities."
  • 1000 Friends of Minnesota: Coordinates the Minnesota Smart Growth Network, a coalition of local groups working to implement the agreed upon Smart Growth Principles for Minnesota.
  • 1000 Friends of Fresno: Works for growth management and sustainable development in Fresno County, California.
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council: This environmental group has land use as a top priority. Its 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania campaign has convinced the state legislature to consider land-use reform and regional planning.
  • Environmental Justice Resource Center: Based in Clark Atlanta University, this group works against sprawl and for environmental justice in the Atlanta, GA, area, and it publishes studies and books about sprawl in Atlanta.
  • GreenBelt Alliance: Protects open space in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area. This group has protected threatened lands and helped convince a number of local governments to implement urban growth boundaries.
  • Committee for Green Foothills: Founded by author, Wallace Stegner, this group based in Palo Alto, CA, has been fighting sprawl for more than 30 years. It is currently working to promote a sensible land use plan for Stanford University and continuing to work against sprawl development on the San Mateo coastine, south of San Francisco.
  • Pittsburgh Area New Direction Alternative (PANDA): A comprehensive public policy platform with a strategy for stopping suburban sprawl and reversing regional decline in Pittsburgh, which is the only metropolitan area in the country to be losing population, yet has one of the highest rates of land conversion/consumption in the country.

Other Resources

  • Subdivide and Conquer: A Modern Western: A video that examines the destructive effects of sprawl in the West and suggests remedies. Available from Bullfrog Films, which also carries many other educational videos on environmental issues.
  • Sprawl Net: A forum devoted to the topic of urban sprawl, based at the Rice University School of Architecture in Houston, Texas. The Sprawl Net is primarily intended for professionals, students, and academics, though anyone may use it and anyone may submit works for inclusion.