Blueprint for a Better Region

Traffic. Expensive housing. Dangerous streets for walking and bicycling. Disappearing farms and forests. It’s all interconnected.

Our region’s past choices about where and how we grow have led to limited housing options and high housing costs in walkable, transit-connected places – leading many to move farther and farther out to find housing they can afford. As a result, people face long commutes, heavy traffic, and dangerous streets for walking and biking. This pattern of sprawl development has harmed our environment, made us more dependent on driving, and contributed to the D.C. region’s racial and economic segregation.

“Since our founding in 1997, the Coalition for Smarter Growth has been the leading voice offering an alternative to the outward sprawl and traffic choked roads that too many people have to deal with.”

Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director

Where and how we grow matters—and CSG is leading the way

There is a better way for our region to grow. CSG’s Blueprint for a Better Region, framed around a network of livable communities, offers a path forward for the D.C. region to grow in a way that supports healthy, thriving communities with abundant housing options for a mix of incomes and sustainable transportation choices that meet peoples’ needs. The three pillars of our Blueprint offer solutions to the challenges we face in our region:

  1. Create inclusive, vibrant communities
  2. Provide housing for all
  3. Offer more sustainable transportation choices 

Our Principles

Through smarter land use, we can build a more inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable region with neighborhoods that are safe and convenient for walking, biking, and taking transit to our daily needs – school, stores, parks, and jobs – and provide different housing types for a mix of incomes.

In order to do this, growth and development should be focused in already established areas close to jobs and services – such as at our Metro stations and through transformation of our shopping centers and surface parking lots – with access to nearby parks and trails. Creating inclusive, vibrant communities like this reduces the amount we have to drive, strengthens our connections and economy, improves our health, and is better for our environment. Combined with land conservation tools, they also help preserve our rural farms, forests, and natural areas.

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Providing housing options that are accessible to people with a range of ages, incomes, and family sizes is key to diverse, vibrant communities.

Building more housing and different types of housing – townhouses, duplexes, apartments – with good access to transit, while preserving and building affordable housing will increase equity and access to opportunity and reduce household transportation costs.

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The framework for a sustainable region and vibrant, interconnected communities is the region’s transit system. Invest in public transit that is frequent, reliable, and convenient; make walking and biking comfortable and connected; and stop building new highways and widening roads.

By focusing on moving people instead of cars, we can offer more affordable and equitable access to opportunities, drive less, be healthier, and reduce climate pollution. 

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The Coalition for Smarter Growth is fighting for a
more sustainable, vibrant future for our region

Latest Happenings


How to get involved in our Blueprint for a Better Region

How to get involved in our Blueprint for a Better Region

Traffic. Expensive housing. Dangerous streets for walking and bicycling. Disappearing farms and forests. It’s all interconnected. Learn how, and what you …
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