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Smart Growth Index

Smart Growth INDEX is a GIS sketch model that lets communities conduct quick analyses of multiple scenarios before running more sophisticated, data- and labor-intensive transportation and land use models. It simulates alternative land-use and transportation scenarios and evaluates their outcomes using indicators of environmental performance. The model can be used to evaluate:

  • Regional growth management plans.
  • Land use, transportation, and neighborhood plans.
  • Land development reports.
  • Environmental impact reports.
  • Special projects such as brownfield redevelopment or annexation.

EPA contracted with Criterion Planners and Engineers to develop the model and worked with 20 communities in 17 states in a pilot program to test and evaluate Smart Growth INDEX in 2000. Nearly all the pilot sites used Smart Growth INDEX to instigate the planning process and/or to sketch for public discussion alternatives for future development. Building on the success of the pilot program, EPA selected 12 Smart Growth INDEX partners in 2002 to help further refine the tool.

EPA no longer supports Smart Growth INDEX. The materials below are for reference only.

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