Albany, NY (December 10, 2007)- State governments play a crucial role in determining where growth and development occur. Local governments designate land use, but they do so in a context of state investments and policies. It is the rare state, however, that requires individual departments to coordinate those decisions. As a result, the DOT, say, might propose a highway through farmland or natural areas that the Department of Natural Resources has marked for preservation. Or the state health department might build a clinic out from town, beyond the reach of transit, and therefore out of reach of the poor and elderly. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer broke the mold by creating a new Smart Growth Cabinet to review “state agency spending and policies to determine how best to discourage sprawl and promote smart land use practices.”
Gov. Spitzer is the latest in a line of governors who are embracing the power that the state has in subsidizing sprawl, or enabling a “smarter” alternative that will allow us to remain mobile and productive long into the future. Governors Jodi Rell in Connecticut, John Baldacci in Maine, Martin O’Malley in Maryland and. Bill Richardson in New Mexico have all stepped forward to try something better than the haphazard piecemeal approach of the past.
Spitzer Creates SmartGrowth Cabinet
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Regional Plan Association