LOS ANGELES-Smart growth is more than a buzz phrase and is a distinct set of planning and development principles that offers guidelines for efficient development, according to speakers at Thursday’s “Smart Growth” conference presented by the UCLA Extension in Downtown Los Angeles. Conference speakers, including developers, city officials and economic development specialists, described smart growth as development that most efficiently uses scarce land and natural resources to meet the needs of a growing population. The principles of smart growth have become increasingly important for areas like Southern California, the speakers noted, because of the population growth, housing and land shortages, government budget deficits and other forces affecting development. These forces, they reported, require more efficient use of land to create mixed-use, transit-oriented, and environmentally responsible projects that maximize the use of land, reduce car trips and connect both existing and new communities. Individual panels at the event explored case histories of specific smart growth projects, explored the economic benefits of such growth, and outlined financing structures for smart growth developments.In a panel discussion titled “Supporting Smart Growth—What Must Happen Next?”, Dan Rosenfeld, principal of Urban Partners LLC, said “we must change the paradigm of development” as developers embrace smart growth practices. According to Rosenfeld, the frequent development practice of looking at “density, mobility (transportation) and parks, in that order” must be reversed for citizens to experience “smart growth living.” Victor B. MacFarlane, managing principal of MacFarlane Partners, cited another mistake development mistake that must be corrected. “We think ‘me’ versus ‘us.’ We must change that way of thinking. Instead, we should embrace our diversity,” MacFarlane said.The conference program cited the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of smart growth as development that “serves the economy, the community and the environment.” The specific principles that define and characterize smart growth, according to the EPA, are that it mixes land uses, takes advantage of compact building design, creates a range of housing opportunities and choices, creates walkable neighborhoods, fosters distinctive communities with a strong sense of place, preserves open space and critical environmental areas, provides a variety of transportation choices, makes development decisions predictable and fair, and encourages community collaboration in the development process.The conference was billed as “a day of practical dialogue” regarding Smart Growth, and it was sponsored by a host of organizations, including Real Estate Southern California Magazine, a member of the Real Estate Media Inc. family of companies that includes GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum magazine.

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 www.copyright.com. 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 GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com'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 ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

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