Smart Growth Land Use Planning for a Community at the Rural Urban Interface Utilizing Structured Public Involvement

EPA Grant Number: SU832514
Title: Smart Growth Land Use Planning for a Community at the Rural Urban Interface Utilizing Structured Public Involvement
Investigators: Lee, Brian Denis , Austin, Steve
Institution: University of Kentucky
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2005 through May 30, 2006
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


A. Simpson County, KY is facing suburban growth pressure like many communities across the country at the rural urban interface. This presents opportunities and challenges to maintain community identity, build economic diversity, protect environmental resources, and improve quality of life. Therefore, the county leadership has partnered with the Department of Landscape Architecture to explore multiple development ideas focused on Smart Growth ideas to accommodate projected growth and gauge public acceptance of those ideas.

B. The undergraduate students in the capstone course of the Department of Landscape Architecture will compile background data including historic land use, demographics, economics, cultural, biological, and physical resources for developing a Smart Growth comprehensive plan for Simpson County. The student team will use ArcGIS and CommunityViz to develop several land use scenarios for the county. Prior to developing the scenarios, the students will gather visual preference data about Smart Growth concepts in a town hall style meeting using a structured public involvement protocol. Based on this data, student generated scenarios will be evaluated by the stakeholders in a second meeting. The data collected from this meeting will inform revisions of the scenarios for presentation at a third meeting. Again, the stakeholders will evaluate these scenarios. The students will also make recommendations about the choices preferred by the stakeholders and develop a monitoring strategy addressing P3.

C. Successful comprehensive plans recognize the legitimacy of all stakeholders and engage their participation for sustainability for providing a quality of life. Counties on the rural/urban fringe are able to provide opportunities for recreation, education, agriculture, scenic beauty, economic diversity and connection to the natural resources making a very livable community.

D. The process proposed here incorporates several facilitated feedback sessions with stakeholders of the community. As part of this project, the students will evaluate existing regulations and practices and encourage appropriate public, private, and nonregulatory growth management tools.

E. The principles of sustainability and stewardship are integrated into the curriculum. Students are expected to read, discuss these focus areas, and apply the concepts through several courses/studios leading up to and including this service learning capstone course.

Supplemental Keywords:

community-based, Region 4, landsat, GIS, conservation, public policy, preferences,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, waste reduction, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, sustainable development, waste minimization, green design, holistic design, decision making, ecological design, environmental conscious construction, green building design, alternative building technology, community based, pollution prevention design, collaborative urban planning, architecture, environmentally conscious design

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final