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Communities across the country are struggling to accommodate population growth and economic development while limiting negative impacts of associated land development patterns.. At federal, state and local levels, policies and programs are being implemented in an attempt to mitigate the negative impacts of growth. Many of these programs are united under the concept of Smart Growth. There are numerous resources available that explain and describe applications of tens, if not hundreds, of smart growth tools (for example: see ICMA, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to highlight a few growth management programs that have incorporated tools characterized by fairly significant institutional changes. Of particular interest are the economic incentives and disincentives created by the institutional change. First, sprawl and growth management are defined. Next, the role of federal policy in growth patterns is reviewed briefly. Third, specific examples of growth management policy tools are provided. Finally, several policy issues critical to the achievement of growth management are discussed. Because this paper was initially presented as a general resource for public policy educators, the background material references include an internet site where available.


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