The culmination of a seven-year research project, Growing Smart contains the next generation of model planning and zoning enabling legislation for the United States.

Growing Smart

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, 2002 Edition (Stuart Meck, FAICP, Gen. Ed.). 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 U.S.

Read a summary of the Guidebook

Read the Guidebook online

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Buy the Guidebook

CoverThis 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.

Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook 3

Background on Growing Smart

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


User Manual

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

User manual


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


Enabling Act

The basic foundation for planning and zoning in the U.S. was laid by two standard state enabling acts published by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1920s.

Standard State Zoning Enabling Act and Standard City Planning Enabling Act


Advising APA on the Growing Smart project was a directorate appointed by the nation's major organizations that represent elected officials. Included were representatives of the Council of State Community Development Agencies, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Regional Councils, the National Association of Towns and Townships, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In addition, there were several members-at-large who represented the built and natural environments and local government law.

Growing Smart Directorate

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 the members of APA.