Focus Areas

Learn more about the National Center for Smart Growth's four main content focus areas through the links below.

Community Development

NCSG’s Community Development team aims to measurably improve the conditions in disadvantaged communities, particularly in the Washington-Baltimore region. Our work focuses on a range of issues that impact the health and well-being of low-income, minority, and other marginalized groups, including affordable housing, economic and workforce development, segregation, gentrification, and neighborhood opportunity. Our strengths lie in data analysis and mapping as well as partnering with communities to help make the case for equitable urban investments and policies. Learn more...

International Planning

Although the NCSG does not have a formal international program or programs focused on countries other than the United States, NCSG staff are actively engaged in planning and urban management issues around the world. Uri Avin coordinated the Israel Ministry of Interior team’s US visit and case study of Maryland as input into a major overhaul of Israeli planning system to improve its efficiency and local control and to increase the supply and production of affordable housing. Hiro Iseki is an active member of CrisisCommons, an association of GIS professionals who volunteer in the public interest. Hiro led the effort to use GIS to help the victims of the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. Gerrit Knaap continues to conduct research on planning systems in Europe. Learn more...

Land Use

Maryland’s long tradition of leading-edge land use policy is the backdrop for our work in this focus area. Our research and publications assess the effects of these smart growth practices at the statewide, regional and local scales. Our projects apply this knowledge to new ways of approaching land use and its multiple interactions with other urban systems. Thus our work in transportation, economic development, equity, the environment, climate change and energy is informed and often driven by imagining alternative land use scenarios. The drivers for such scenarios and their outcomes are developed and analyzed in models. Learn more...

Transporation

The NCSG’s Transportation focus area investigates solutions to complex problems raised by the interactions of transportation and land use. Working with state and local officials, the transportation faculty and staff develop and apply analytic methods to better understand the complex relationships between transportation, land use, and economic development. Issues that the NCSG typically addresses include exploring methods of congestion relief, the use of multi-modal alternatives to reduce automobile dependency and congestion, how transportation influences economic development and the impact of alternative land use patterns on the transportation system. Learn more...