Sustainability in Small Towns

Small towns have the opportunity to integrate principles of sustainability during their comprehensive planning update.  During the early stages of this process,  the community identifies  their values.  This sets the stage for the work that is accomplished during the planning process.  If it is important to the town that their guiding principles include sustainability, this can be incorporated in the plan.  

For example, if the town values walkable neighborhoods, or for that matter, a walkable downtown, policies can  be written that support this idea.  Policies that support this might include the concept of allowing a mix of commercial and residential uses in the downtown, or increasing density around the downtown. Another important component of walkability is safety, because if people do not feel safe walking down the sidewalk, or crossing the street, they are much less likely to walk.

The important idea to remember is the values must be clearly articulated early in the process, and these must be revisited during the planning effort to make sure these values are being reflected in policy.

© tpg 2016