1999 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: "cpeo@cpeo.org" <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 16:32:40 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: Sierra Club "Solving Sprawl" Report Rates the States
October 4, 1999       
Daniel Silverman, (415) 977-5508
Deron Lovaas, (202) 675-2392


Sierra Club "Solving Sprawl" Report Rates the States
New Report Finds Sprawl Solutions Innovative and Effective -- If Enforced

Washington, D.C. -- Today's release of "Solving Sprawl" documents that
suburban sprawl is not inevitable. The Sierra Club's second annual sprawl
report shows that states and communities across the nation are using
innovative programs and tools to manage poorly-planned growth. 

"The costs and consequences of poorly-planned development are becoming
clear and common. The good news is that we are not doomed to a future of
traffic congestion, air pollution, overcrowded schools, abandoned city
centers, and lost open space and farm land," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club's
Executive Director. "This report proves that we can manage suburban sprawl
by adopting and implementing smart growth solutions."

The report rates each of the 50 states by measuring progress in four broad
categories: open-space protection, land-use planning, transportation
planning and community revitalization. In each area, the report found
states with innovative programs that are already working and laggard states
that have been slow to adopt sprawl solutions.

"The best states are using innovative tools like regional planning
councils, urban growth boundaries, investment in public transit and
community development programs to help rein-in poorly planned growth," said
Deron Lovaas, Representative for  the Sierra Club's Challenge to Sprawl

States that want to begin slowing sprawl have plenty of successful examples
to follow.  For example:

 In Maryland, the state has earmarked $140 million for open space
protection and has plans to save 58,000 acres of crucial land along the
state's Eastern Shore.

 In Vermont, housing advocates have joined with environmentalists to
preserve farmland and provide affordable housing.

 In Rhode Island, the state has made a serious effort to break the
stranglehold of the automobile by investing in transportation alternatives.

 And, in Oregon, urban growth limits and intelligent planning have
protected open space while allowing cities like Portland to thrive. 

"These states are leading the way. Unfortunately, too many other states are
dropping the ball," said Pope.  

For instance, only 11 states have passed comprehensive, statewide
growth-management acts. Twenty-one states spent over half of their federal
transportation dollars on new road construction, instead of investing in
existing roads and developing transportation alternatives. Building new
roads will not solve our traffic problems -- just as buying bigger pants
will not help you lose weight -- yet 26 states spent less than $10 per
urban resident per year on alternatives to driving.

Some states have sprawl solutions on the books, but are lagging or
completely failing to implement or fund these programs. Georgia and Florida
have excellent growth management laws, but sprawl is rampant in places like
Tampa/St. Petersburg and Atlanta.

"Stopping sprawl requires deeds, not just words," added Lovaas.

The report also offers profiles of the top states, short articles on
different solutions to sprawl, and commentary from in-house and guest experts.

The complete report with ratings for all 50 states is available on the web at 

The Sierra Club's Challenge to Sprawl Campaign -- one of the organization's
four national priority campaigns -- is committed to stopping sprawl and
revitalizing communities through smart growth.  The Sierra Club, with more
than 550,000 members and 65 chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest
grassroots environmental organization.

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