Some people are suprised to learn that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is a full supporter of smart growth principles. Placemaking is more than just building homes and sprawling on to untapped lands. While there are many areas of the country that do not embrace smart growth, Oregon has been a leader for decades.
I’m proud that my national association is an active participant in this area.
Successful Growth Begins with Five Principles
There’s no stopping growth. By 2020, this country will need to house 53.7 million more Americans than in the year 2000.
How will we live? Differently. The average household will be smaller. More people will remain active into their 80s; they will want shopping, entertainment, and medical services within walking distance. Empty nesters may gravitate toward revitalized city neighborhoods.
Struggling with traffic congestion and watching precious open space disappear, many homeowners will say “enough” to sprawl.
What to do? Grow smart! Smart growth focuses on the existing assets of the community, the long-term implications of various development patterns, and the fiscal impacts of these patterns. The bottom line: some ways of growing are more likely to succeed in the long run.
Each community defines smart growth for itself, but the National Association of REALTORS® hopes to see all such efforts guided by five principles:
- Make a commitment to housing opportunity and choice, a wide range of urban, suburban, and rural homes at all price levels for a diverse population.
- Build better communities with good schools, low crime, quality public services, efficient transportation systems, ample recreation areas, open space, a strong employment base, and a viable commercial sector.
- Protect the environment by controlling pollution and encouraging preservation of natural resources and properties of historic significance.
- At the same time, respect our Constitutional rights to freely own, use, and transfer real property.
- Implement fair and reasonable public sector fiscal measures to ensure that the cost of new infrastructure is shared proportionally among those served.