ATLANTA-If there is one point of agreement among proponents of “smart growth,” it is that there is no one definition of the concept. Speaking at a plenary session at the conference, F. Gary Garczynski, vice president and secretary of the National Association of Home Builders, summarized, “It is more of a process than a definition.”

Part of that process is having solid numbers to back issues and to develop a framework for assessing land-use and transportation policies. Enter SMARTRAQ–Strategies for Metro Atlanta’s Regional Transportation and Air Quality. SMARTRAQ is a partnership of diverse organizations, including the Georgia Dept. of Transportation, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Turner Foundation.

In a $4.1 million program, the group is developing an information system to support regional, corridor and local land-use and transportation decision-making. In doing so, it is developing a model that can be applied to other areas of the country.

SMARTRAQ is developing a method for measuring and tracking in detail the changes in how Atlantans, in the 13-county non-attainable air quality area, live, work, shop, travel and communicate. SMARTRAQ hopes to integrate its research with educational and political action to further smart growth. Says Lawrence D. Frank, professor of city planning, Georgia Institute of Technology, “The detailed surveys and information base will also serve as a filter to tell us what (smart growth concepts) are marketable.”

The pre-testing begins in February and actual surveys of 8,000 households are set to take place March through May and September through December next year. The first wave of statistics should be available this coming spring.

Smart growth varies by market–urban, suburban, exurban and rural, small town, big city. There are, however, a few underlying principles of the concept: Mixed land use, the live-work-play idea; density-clustering of a variety of types of living units with common greenspace; walkability-designed to promote pedestrian use; transportation-close public transit as well as opportunities for biking.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.