Smart Growth


SMART GROWTH is a phrase used to describe land use principles that encourage intelligent use of resources.  Aspects include:

  • Clustering density near public transportation
  • Mixing land uses to provide options for accessing a  home, work and services
  • Maximizing efficiency of infrastructure and services

A short slide presentation reveals how Arlington planned for Smart Growth 30 years ago and profits from those decisions today.

Arlington and SMART GROWTH

"Arlington's Smart Growth Journey" is a new documentary film that traces the dramatic history of the past half-century of growth and development in our community.

  • How did Arlington get 11 Metro stops?
  • What risks did leaders and residents take to balance neighborhoods and development? 

Arlington has been recognized for its early innovative approach to smart growth associated with the Washington area Metro transit system. Recent information from the American Community Survey (ACS) and other surveys underscores Arlington 's successful emphasis on transit-oriented development (“smart growth”) and multiple transit options.  Arlington is considered a model of Smart Growth by the Smart Growth Network.

HOW ALINGTONIANS BENEFIT FROM SMART GROWTH – The following are the commonly agreed upon Smart Growth Issues and how Arlington addresses each.

  • Quality of Life (PDF Format) - 88% of County residents rate their quality of life as Good or Very Good. Analysis of the results by the researchers established clearly that Arlington 's many transportation options and services have a positive impact on resident's perceptions of quality of life. Also Commute Time in Arlington County is the regions lowest.
  • Design – Mixed uses allow for residents and office workers alike to take advantage of nearby transit retail and services.
  • Economics – Office and Residential Development has been spurred by the availability of Metro Arlington County has lowest Property Tax rate ($.973 per $100 fmv) of any jurisdiction in DC area and amongst highest levels of services . Increased Tax Base (PDF Format)
  • Environment – Arlington was the first local government on the East Coast to purchase energy-efficient hybrid-electric vehicles. Over 40 percent of Arlington 's fleet of 1,346 vehicles now relies on fuels that are cleaner, improve air quality, and reduce reliance on foreign sources of petroleum products.
  • Health - 4.2% of Arlington 's work force can walk to work. (Arlington's own July 2006 survey shows that number, in fact, is even higher – with 6% of Arlington 's residents walking to work.)
  • Housing – Provision of a variety of housing options and access to transportation and services.
  • Transportation (PDF Format)- 39% of those who live in the RB Corridor take transit to work. Arlington residents rely less on driving than the Metropolitan Washington regional average.

Arlington is involved in many aspects of Smart Growth. Specific programs are described in more detail through these links.

More information is available on the general principles of Smart Growth:

Last Modified: April 04, 2013
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