Listen in: Building Better Budgets panel discussion

Building Better BudgetsYesterday Smart Growth America released new research on the savings and revenue of smart growth development. Building Better Budgets is the first report to aggregate local fiscal comparisons and determine a national average of how much communities can expect to save by using smart growth strategies.

To accompany the release we hosted a panel discussion of the new findings. If you weren’t able to join the event an archived version is now available at the link below.

Listen in: Click here to view the archived recording

Speaking on the panel were William Fulton, Vice President of Policy Development and Implementation, Smart Growth America; Rick Bernhardt, FAICP, CNU-A, Executive Director Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Planning Department; Mary Newsom, Associate Director of Urban and Regional Affairs at UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute; and Chris Zimmerman, Member of Arlington County (VA) Board.

The panel discussion includes an overview of the findings and discussion of development strategies in Nashville, TN, Charlotte, NC, and Arlington, VA, as well as a question and answer session with panel attendees.

Read more about Building Better Budgets >>


Building Better Budgets quantifies average savings and revenue of smart growth development

Building Better BudgetsLocal governments across the country have compared development strategies to understand their impact on municipal finances. These studies generally compare two or more different development scenarios, and help local leaders make informed decisions about new development based on the costs or revenues associated with them.

Many municipalities have found that a smart growth approach would improve their financial bottom line. Whether by saving money on upfront infrastructure; reducing the cost of ongoing services like fire, police and ambulance; or by generating greater tax revenues in years to come, community after community has found that smart growth development would benefit their overall financial health. Many of these findings have been made publicly available.

No national survey has examined these savings as a whole until now. This report is the first to aggregate those comparisons and determine a national average of how much other communities can expect to save by using smart growth strategies.

Building Better Budgets: A National Examination of the Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Development surveys 17 studies that compare different development scenarios, including a brand-new study of Nashville-Davidson County, TN, commissioned specifically for this report.


How much could your town save?

The Gulch

Local leaders across the country have already built their way to better budgets.

Dozens of municipalities have compared development scenarios and the impact they would have on public finances. Nearly as many places have found that they could save money—and increase revenue—by using smarter development strategies.

How much can other communities expect to save with these strategies? And how much revenue, on average, does smart growth development generate compared to the alternatives?

Next week Smart Growth America will release new research that answers these questions. The new report collects local studies from across the country and will unveil new analysis on how smart growth strategies would impact an average municipality’s budget.