A framework for quantitative Smart Growth in land development Article

Moglen, GE, Gabriel, SA, Faria, JA. (2003). A framework for quantitative Smart Growth in land development . JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION, 39(4), 947-959. 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2003.tb04418.x

cited authors

  • Moglen, GE; Gabriel, SA; Faria, JA



  • Increasing awareness about the problems brought on by urban sprawl has led to proactive measures to guide future development. Such efforts have largely been grouped under the term "Smart Growth". Although not widely recognized as such, the "smart" in Smart Growth implies an optimization of some quantity or objective while undertaking new forms of urban development. In this study, we define Smart Growth as that development plan that leads to the optimal value of a precisely defined measure identified by a stakeholder or stakeholders. To illustrate a formal, quantitative framework for Smart Growth, this study develops definitions of optimal development from the perspectives of four different types of stakeholders: a government planner, a land developer, a hydrologist, and a conservationist subject to certain development constraints. Four different objective functions are posed that are consistent with each of these stakeholders' perspectives. We illustrate the differences in consequences on future development given these different objective functions in a stylized representation for Montgomery County, Maryland. Solutions to Smart Growth from the individual perspectives vary considerably. Tradeoff tables are presented that illustrate the consequences experienced by each stakeholder depending on the viewpoint that has been optimized. Although couched in the context of an illustrative example, this study emphasizes the need to apply rigorous, quantitative tools in a meaningful framework to address Smart Growth. The result is a tool that a range of parties can use to plan future development in ways that are environmentally and fiscally responsible and economically viable.

publication date

  • August 1, 2003

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 947

end page

  • 959


  • 39


  • 4