Smart Growth

"Smart growth" is a philosophy supported by actions to direct growth to existing areas that enable people to access jobs, shopping and recreational activities whether walking, cycling or driving. Communities that embody smart growth principles are vibrant places that promote health, reduced infrastructure costs, and conservation of environmentally sensitive areas.


The 10 principles of smart growth include:

  • Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Create walkable neighborhoods
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration
  • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  • Make development decision predictable, fair and cost effective
  • Mix land uses
  • Preserve opens spaces, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas
  • Provide a variety of transportation choices
  • Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  • Take advantage of compact building design

The principles of smart growth are reflected throughout RPC’s programs and plans. Frequently, RPC works with its local government partners, who regulate land use and zoning, to coordinate development with regional transportation investments. Additionally, RPC provides educational opportunities for local government partners, board members, and the community about topics relevant to promoting smarter growth including: climate change, urban design, and best practices in land use and transportation integration. RPC provides technical assistance to local government partners through sub-area studies, its bicycle and pedestrian program, transportation enhancement program, RPC brownfields program, and educational seminars.


Smart Growth Speakers Series

This year, the Regional Planning Commission has partnered with the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, Urban Land Institute of Louisiana, American Planning Association of Louisiana, and the Downtown Development District of New Orleans to host a Smart Growth Speaker Series focused on the issues facing transportation and land use decision-making. This speaker series has a two-pronged approach – the first being an educational presentation to the RPC board, and the second being a public symposium and/or workshop for practitioners.

We were excited to kick off the series with Dr. Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA, as the keynote speaker of the public symposium at the National WWII Museum to a crowd of around 150 people. Shoup presented suggestions from his book, The High Cost of Free Parking, which has influenced parking policies in a growing number of cities.

As for the final part of the RPC's Smart Growth Speaker Series we are exited to invite you to a public symposium entitled Retrofitting Suburbio. Click here for more details. Please join us at the Regional Planning Commission on Tuesday, July 10 from 6-8pm .

For more information on the Smart Growth Speaker Series, please contact or 504.483.8522.


Educational Materials

Access Management

Climate Change


Additional Smart Growth Resources


Font size  A -   A +            
Land Use
Smart Growth
Land Use Studies
  »  Parish Studies
  »  Sub-Area Studies

To view or print these documents, you must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. You can download this free program from Adobe's Web site.

Download Adobe Reader
Get Adobe Reader