2018 National Planning Conference

Smart Growth: The Role of States

Monday, April 15, 2019, 4:15 p.m. - Monday, April 15, 2019, 5:30 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198169

Location: 2011

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  • Identify the different approaches that state planning offices may choose to take to promote smart growth.
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of utilizing a state plan.
  • Recognize ways that state planning offices can productively engage with municipalities and regions to coordinate policies.


While municipalities may wish to manage growth in their communities, challenges can arise when trying to coordinate smart growth policies over wider regions. In areas where everyone wants to develop, balancing the ambitions of local communities with the needs of the state as a whole is a delicate process. State planning offices may use a variety of tools to help make decisions and target development in the places that are most appropriate. Planners from different state planning offices present the specific approaches that they use to promote smart growth. Tools may include the implementation of a state plan, targeting funding toward higher-density, developed areas, partnerships with nonprofits, the operation of metropolitan planning organizations, and providing technical support to municipalities as they pursue their own internal policies. Planners from state offices in California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland share how their offices approach smart growth issues.

Session Speakers

Nancy Hess
Rhode Island Division of Statewide Planning
Hope Valley, RI

Charles W. Boyd, AICP
Maryland Department of Planning
Frederick, MD

Michael McCormick, AICP
Harris & Associates
Davis, CA