Planning with POWER’s latest publication—Smart Growth and Protection of Natural Resources in Indiana—responds to a problem persistent in urban and residential development in Indiana as well as other states.

“Local land use planning in the past has not incorporated natural resources,” said POWER project leader Robert McCormick. “Typically, housing is scattered in a sprawled fashion without regard to environmental impacts. As a result, we have seriously degraded our water and other natural resources.”

The goal of smart growth—an idea promoted by the U.S. EPA Smart Growth Network (SGN) in 1996—is to protect communities’ natural resources and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods through mixed-use development, transportation accessibility, and protection of open spaces.

With help from Planning with POWER, smart growth development is already underway in Porter County and is under consideration in a handful of other Indiana counties. POWER’s new publication provides details on smart growth development in Indiana and outlines methods for implementation, including SGN’s “Ten Principles of Smart Growth.”

Planning with Power—a statewide educational program that links land use planning with watershed planning at the local level—is coordinated by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue University Extension. The project is designed to empower communities to prevent and solve natural resource problems resulting from changing land use in growing watersheds and to empower local officials to incorporate watershed protection measures into comprehensive land use plans.

For more information or to download the publication, visit Planning with Power or contact Robert McCormick at 765-494-3627.

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