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Branding and Marketing Smart Growth Communities

Branding and Marketing Smart Growth Communities (2007), by Jackie Benson, discusses how the brand for smart growth communities is much more than the sum of the amenities. A smart growth community is a different type of product than a typical suburban development.

Developers of new smart growth communities don't just sell a new home — they sell the safety and convenience of living in a neighborhood with walkable streets, sidewalks, and pocket parks. Successful marketing strategies highlight how:

  • A compact community means less time driving back and forth to schools, shopping, and work.
  • A variety of housing types means more homes to choose from and a community that folks can live in during different stages of their life.
  • An interconnected street network means better access to more places and reduced congestion at major intersections.
  • Well-designed parks and trails means more opportunities for recreation, interaction with neighbors, and a greater connection to the natural environment.

Builders and developers that successfully package the benefits of good placemaking with good environmental stewardship will demonstrate the value of their communities not only to homebuyers, but also to municipalities that are increasingly interested in making sure that new development is environmentally sound and good for the community as a whole.

This paper was produced as part of Smart Growth: The Business Opportunity for Developers and Production Builders, a series of papers that present a "business case for smart growth" to help builders and developers considering whether to pursue smart growth projects.

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