Kaid Benfield writes up the Center for Clean Air Policy’s new study, Growing Wealthier: Smart Growth, Climate Change and Prosperity:
In particular, the authors observe that application of smart growth principles can improve the bottom line for businesses, household budgets and government balance sheets by increasing property values, cutting fuel and infrastructure costs, creating jobs, enhancing public health and strengthening communities. Cities investing in public transportation and downtown development are experiencing cost savings, growing tax revenues, increased property values and booming retail sales, while pent-up demand for walkable communities is reshaping the real estate market.
Lots of things happen under the banner of “smart growth” and I’m sure that not all of them are economically beneficial. But the core idea of smart growth is to use space efficiently. For whatever reason, that idea sort of first took hold in green circles since when space is used efficiently there’s less consumption of energy for heating, lighting, and transportation. But the inefficiencies involved in anti-density regulatory mandates and investment priorities are just as much ecomomic growth issues as they are allocative issues.