Using Smart Growth to Adapt to Climate Change

Zoning Practice — February 2017

By Megan Susman


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Communities around the country, from rural places to major cities, are using smart growth and green building strategies to create more economic opportunities, offer more housing and transportation choices, promote equitable development, and improve quality of life. These same strategies, with some tweaks, can make neighborhoods and cities more resilient to current and projected climate change impacts, including flooding, sea-level rise, extreme heat, drought, and wildfire.

This issue of Zoning Practice explains how development regulations that promote smart growth and green building principles can also help communities adapt to a changing climate. It spotlights holistic strategies that can help communities adapt to multiple climate change impacts and strategies specific to a single hazard.


Page Count
Date Published
Feb. 1, 2017
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Megan Susman
Megan Susman is a senior policy analyst in EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization. OCR uses technical assistance, tools, and research to help communities find multi-benefit solutions to development-related challenges. She works on various topics related to community design and development, particularly how smart growth strategies can help mitigate and adapt to climate change. She has written or coauthored several publications on these topics, including Smart Growth Fixes for Climate Adaptation and Resilience.