Skip to Main Content

Smart Growth Planning Topics


Smart growth concentrates new development and redevelopment in areas that have existing or planned infrastructure to avoid sprawl. Smart growth is sustainable and is characterized by compact, transit-oriented, bicycle-friendly land use, with neighborhood schools, walkable streets, mixed-use development and a wide range of housing choices. Its purpose is to conserve valuable natural resources through the efficient use of land, water and air; create a sense of community and place; expand transportation, employment, and housing choices; distribute the costs and benefits of development in an equitable manner; and promote public health.

Smart Growth has four straightforward goals:

  • Support existing communities by targeting resources to support development in areas where infrastructure exists;
  • Save our most valuable natural resources before they are forever lost;
  • Save taxpayers from the high cost of building infrastructure to serve development that has spread far from our traditional population centers; and
  • Provide Marylanders with a high quality of life, whether they choose to live in a rural community, suburb, small town, or city.

Since 1992 the State of Maryland has adopted a variety of Smart Growth laws and policies. Many of these laws and policies have been administered by the Maryland Department of Planning.

Reinvest Maryland Toolbox

Ever wonder what federal and state resources you might tap for your upcoming project, but don’t know where to start? More than 100 programs support infill, redevelopment and revitalization in Maryland. How to find the best ones to support your work? The Maryland Department of Planning developed the Reinvest Maryland Toolbox as a searchable, online resource to point you to the right programs.

Planning Legislation

arrow up icon Back to top