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Measuring Sprawl & Its Impact
updated: Apr 06, 2014, 2:03 PM

Source: City of Santa Barbara

The greater Santa Barbara region is among the least sprawling in the country according to a new report out this week from Smart Growth America-and that's great news for Santa Barbara's residents.

Measuring Sprawl 2014 examines development in 221 major metropolitan areas in the United States, and ranks each region's development on a national index. With a score of 146.6, the greater Santa Barbara region ranks near the top of the list of communities with the least amount of sprawling at number four out of 221, and number two in small metro areas with a population of less than 500,000.

" The City has promoted projects and neighborhood improvements that enhance walkability, connectivity, mixed use, and quality design to enhance the community" said Mayor Helene Schneider. " It is great to be recognized for our efforts and to be a key agency in the region addressing concerns of job/housing balance, economic diversity and vitality. The City's General Plan includes a sustainability framework that looks broadly at many critical areas of urban development and healthy living and we will continue to work with the community to preserve the quality of life that is cherished by Santa Barbara's residents and those who work and visit here as well."

The new report examines how sprawl relates to several quality of life factors. Researchers found that individuals in more compact, connected metro areas have greater economic mobility; spend less on the combined expenses of housing and transportation; have more transportation options; and lead longer, healthier, safer lives.

"Smart growth strategies are about making life better for everyone in a community," said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. "If policymakers are looking for ways to lower costs for their constituents, improve public health and support their broader economy, they need to be thinking about how to improve their development."

See the full rankings and download the report at www.smartgrowthamerica.org/measuring-sprawl

Santa Barbara is a historic, coastal city with a population just under 100,000, committed to promoting long-term sustainable development related to environmental protection, economic development and social equity. The City's 2011 General Plan establishes Principles for Development that: focus future growth on workforce housing in the downtown and commercial districts, encourage a mix of land uses, and encourage mobility and active living. For additional information visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov

Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring better development to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit SmartGrowthAmerica.org


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