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The last several decades have seen the emergence of numerous planning strategies and implementation techniques to preserve open space and promote Smart Growth and Sustainable Development at the local level:

 Greenway networks that preserve intact ecosystems.

 Green Infrastructure systems that protect floodplains, water supplies and other assets.

 Recreational greenways that link key locations with hiking, biking and other trail networks.

 Agricultural preserves that protect local food supplies.

 Cultural landscape protection that preserves visual and historic character.

 Revitalization of Main Streets and suburban commercial strips.

 Open Space Subdivisions/ Conservation Development.

 Masterplanned Growth Centers implemented with Form-Based Codes

While many cities and towns have adopted these strategies as part of their community plans, implementation is often haphazard and uncoordinated. Usually the Conservation Commission or local land trust pursues conservation of farmland and wildlife habitat – sometimes with reference to a town or regional plan, but often simply in response to the opportunities (or threats) of the moment. The local economic development office, meanwhile, is busy trying to fill up the local industrial park and support existing businesses. The Planning Board is reacting to whatever development proposals happen to come before it. The story continues with transportation improvements, provision of affordable housing, and planning for schools and other public facilities.

In recent years, however, as creative conservation and development strategies become more widely adopted, cities and towns are starting to explore how they can be combined into a more comprehensive and coordinated approach. The goal of this study is to explore an emerging Village Planning Paradigm that forges a direct link between greenway planning and the creation of compact growth centers. Its objectives include:

 Identifying case study precedents that show how creative development and conservation can go together at the scale of an entire community.

 Understanding how greenway planning can be used to identify natural, cultural and recreational systems that can be used to shape future growth and conservation

 Proposing a community and regional scale planning method for using greenways to shape growth centers.



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