Barely noticed amid the returns from the 1998 midterm elections was a quiet revolution that goes to the heart of how and where Americans live. While most news accounts focused on the high-profile candidate elections, voters across the nation-in Democratic and Republican areas alike-approved more than 160 state and local ballot measures intended to preserve open space and limit urban sprawl.
The coalition forming around the idea of limiting sprawl includes environmentalists, farmers, big-city mayors, and some developers. But perhaps most important, the so-called "smart growth" movement also includes many suburban voters who are fed up with growth. For example, suburbanites in New Jersey-who swept Republican Governor Christine Todd Whitman into office a few years ago on her promise to cut taxes-overwhelmingly supported her proposal to devote about $1 billion a year in taxes and user fees to help preserve half of the state's two million acres of open space over the next ten years. The idea of land preservation is so appealing to many suburbanites that they are willing to pay for it, in contrast with their typical distaste for more taxes.
Economic Policy | Environmental Policy | Growth and Development | Natural Resources and Conservation | Politics and Social Change | Real Estate | Sustainability | Urban Studies and Planning
Danielsen, K. A.,
Lang, R. E.,
What does smart growth mean for housing?.
Housing Facts and Findings, 1(3),
Fannie Mae Foundation.
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