Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook

The Next Generation of Model Planning, U.S. Zoning Legislation

States and their local governments have practical tools to help combat urban sprawl, protect farmland, promote affordable housing, and encourage redevelopment. They appear in the American Planning Association's Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook: Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change. The Guidebook and its accompanying User Manual are the culmination of APA's seven-year Growing Smart project, an effort to draft the next generation of model planning and zoning legislation for the United States.

The Guidebook is also pertinent to those who are affected by planning decisions and who have an interest in how the statutes are revised, including:

  • Local planners
  • Builders
  • Developers
  • Real estate and design professionals
  • Smart growth and affordable housing advocates
  • Environmentalists
  • Highway and transit specialists
  • Citizens.

Summary of the Guidebook

Digital version of the Guidebook

Growing Smart Resources

Buy the Guidebook

This edition includes a CD-ROM, user manual, and more than 1,400 pages of information. Items previously published were updated based on public comment and changes in planning statutory practice.

User Manual

The User Manual helps those interested in statutory reform navigate the Guidebook and, by means of checklists and case studies, tailor a program of statutory reform that will meet the unique needs of their state.


The Growing Smart project has produced two downloadable bibliographies on planning statute reform.

Background on Growing Smart

A Q&A with Stuart Meck, FAICP, General Editor

Growing Smart Directorate

Learn more about the project advisors who were appointed by the nation's major organizations representing elected officials.

Project Sponsors

Financial support for the project was provided by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (the lead federal agency), the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Economic and Community Development Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Siemens Corporation, and APA members.