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Stop Sprawl
Sprawl Links

Links are provided for further information and do not necessarily represent the policies or positions of the Sierra Club. If you find broken links or would like to suggest a link, please write to

Hint: To find links on a specific topic - such as "Portland" or "farmland" or "communities" - use the find feature of your browser - Ctrl+F.

Featured Links:

Smart Growth America's index of sprawling metropolitan areas quantifies how sprawl is linked to a variety of common concerns, from highway deaths to traffic.

In conjuction with their latest issue, National Geographic lets you virtually explore a smart growth neighborhood. (You'll get the most from this site with a Flash-enabled browser.)

The Sierra Student Coalition is also fighting suburban and highway sprawl. Check their website for chapter locations!

Sprawlwatch is an excellent source of up-to-date news and information on efforts to control sprawl. Go to:

Smart Growth America is a nationwide coalition promoting a better way to grow; one that protects farmland and open space, revitalizes neighborhoods, keeps housing affordable, and makes communities more livable.

The Smart Growth Network Web site is filled with smart-growth news and examples of good policies and initiatives to deal with sprawl. Check out:

The Congress for New Urbanism's Web site is currently being updated. Check there for examples of smart growth projects at:

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street program is working with hundreds of towns across the country on redevelopment projects. Information on that program and other initiatives are available at:

The Local Government Commission's Center for Livable Communities Web site features guidelines for smarter planning as well as specific examples. Go to:

The Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology offers strategies for livable communities, including specific smart-growth tools and examples. It can be reached at:

The National Neighborhood Coalition is leading the effort to reinvest in existing communities across the country. To find out more, go to:

For more information about the University of Louisville's Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods program, go to: 

"SUBDIVIDE AND CONQUER: A Modern Western" After examining the causes of sprawl and its devastating effects on our sense of community and the environment, this film suggests remedies, and shows examples of sound public policy and good land use planning. (Bullfrog Films is the distributor; no Sierra Club endorsement is implied. However, one key staff member described this as an "excellent resource.")



Crediting Low-Traffic Developments
A model to help estimate the reduction in trips and traffic due to TOD, smart growth and infill developments.

Inside the Blackbox: Making Transportation Models Work for Livable Communities - (PDF file)
A guide for planners, officials and advocates on the usefulness of travel forecasting models in planning and implementing transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and compact land use strategies.

National Corridors Initiative

The Alliance for a Paving Moratorium of the Sustainable Energy Institute advocates for no more roadbuilding.

American Public Transit Association

Carfree cities past, present, and future. Solutions to the problem of the urban automobile. 

Centre for Sustainable Transportation
A research institute dedicated to encouraging more sustainable transportation policy.

Citizens for Sensible Transportation
Citizens for Sensible Transportation (CST) is a grassroots organization that supports transportation choices for a livable community. CST works on aspects of transportation such as planning, design factors, relationship to land use, alternate modes, and educating citizens about transportation.

City of Cambridge Model Developers TDM Ordinance
requires all developers seeking to increase non-residential parking to submit TDM plans which include a commitment to a maximum percentage of site users arriving by single occupant vehicle.

Wendell Cox has been a vocal opponent of heavy and light rail. G. B. Arrington debunks Cox's myths.

Detour Publications
Information related to urban ecology and transportation planning.

Environmental Defense - Transportation Program

Environmental Protection Agency - Transportation Partners Program 

EPA's TRAQ (Transportation Air Quality) Center
(click the Commuter Choice button located at bottom left) has new web pages describing the benefits of Commuter Choice. State Implementation Plan (SIP) Guidance, fact sheets, tax benefits information, details on multiple commute options, and funding information are all provided.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 

1000 Friends of Florida's "Stalling Sprawl: A Transportation Reform Initiative" 
A three year initiative and study focusing on citizen participation, government advocacy, public education, and the links between transportation and land-use decisions.

"HOV Lane Facts for the SF BA"
Akos Szoboszlay, Modern Transit Society, counters HOV lane propaganda.

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
Ecologically sustainable and equitable transportation, particularly in an international context.  Site contains a list of publications, news flashes, and program descriptions.

Institute of Transportation Engineers

Alan B. Cohen's Narrow Streets Database
Cities which have adopted reduced width street standards.

The National Library for the Environment
Resources, including 725 excellent (objective, nonpartisan, technically accurate) reports produced by the Congressional Research Service, including Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Policies.

Portland Metro
Metro is the regional government for the Portland area and performs both land use (growth management) and tranpsortation planning for the region. Their web page provides some good resource material on these issues.

Street Packing - Exactly how much room do those cars take up?

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) 

Transportation for Livable Communities
A resource for people working to create more livable communities by improving transportation.

TransAct: The Transportation Action Network 
Includes: Access Coalition--Information on efforts to improve transit access for former welfare reipients who, under the "welfare to work" reforms, are often unable to reach jobs without cars.  See especially the Surface Transportation Policy Project.

Travel Model Improvement Program (TMIP) 

Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center

University Transportation Centers

US Department of Transportation and Bureau of Transportation Statistics
See especially the 1997 Transportation Statistics Annual Report, chapter on Mobility and Accissibility; 1996 report, chapter on Transportation and Air Quality: A Metropolitan Perspective.

Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Visit this site for an extensive catalogue of reports and studies for sale on transportation benefits, costs, and equity impact.

Washington State Department of Transportation
Information and resources on carpools, public transit, commute trip reduction, walking and bicycling in Washington State.

Studies and Surveys

American Travel Survey

London's Dept. of Environment, Transport and Regions' evaluation of the economic impacts of roadway improvements.

1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey

1990 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey

Transportation Research Board (TRB) 

United Kingdom--National Travel Survey

Demand Management

Association for Commuter Transportation 
A non-profit organization that supports transportation demand management programs.

Better Environmentally Sound Transportation
Promotes alternative modes of travel throughout the Vancouver region.

Center for Urban Transportation Research
Provides TDM resources for transportation planners and program developers.

Environment Canada "Green Lane" program
Promotes Transportation Demand Management and other strategies for reducing transportation environmental impacts.

Institute of Transportation Engineers
Has extensive technical resources on traffic calming and transportation demand management. Publishes School Trip Safety Program Guidelines.

Modern Transit Society
Parking cash-out and parking subsidies.

Transportation Association of Canada 
Provides a variety of resources related to transportation planning and TDM.

VTPI's Online TDM Encyclopedia
Provides detailed information on more than three-dozen specific TDM strategies

Washington State Department of Transportation Northwest Technology Transfer Center
Offers a variety of publications and resources related to pedestrian and bicycle planning, and transportation for sustainable communities.

Induced Travel

EPA Region 3 Resources for Cumulative Effects Assessment

Evaluation of Modeling Tools for Assessing Land Use Policies and Strategies

The actual TTI study discussed in the above mentioned report

A report from the Victoria Transport Policy Institue, "Traffic Calming; Implications for Transport Planning" cites summarizes a number of studies on generated/induced travel. It also discusses how generated traffic impacts should be incorporated into transport planning and project assessment. The report is available for free at

Robert Cervero, Institute of Transportation Studies, Department of City and Regional Planning and Mark Hansen, Institute of Transportation Studies, 2000, "Road Supply-Demand Relationships: Sorting Out Causal Linkages."

Noland, Robert B., and Lewison L. Lem, in press, "A Review of the Evidence for Induced Travel and Changes in Transportation and Environmental Policy in the United States and the United Kingdom", Transportation Research D.

Noland, Robert B., and William A. Cowart, 2000, "Analysis of Metropolitan Highway Capacity and the Growth in Vehicle Miles of Travel", Transportation, 27(4): 363-390.

Fulton, Lewis M., Robert B. Noland, Daniel J. Meszler and John V. Thomas, 2000, "A Statistical Analysis of Induced Travel Effects in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region", Journal of Transportation and Statistics, 3(1): 1-14.

Bicycling and Walking


Photos of great and poor design of pedestrian and bicycle streets from around the world:

Photos of great pedestrian areas from the western U.S.

America Walks, a non-profit national coalition of local advocacy groups dedicated to promoting walkable communities, sponsoring the National Congress of Pedestrian Advocates in Oakland, California, August 16-18, 2001.

National Center for Bicycling & Walking

Bicycle Transportation Alliance
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance, based in Portland, OR, promotes bicycling for safer streets, cleaner air, and energy independence.

International Bicycle Fund
Promoting sustainable transport worldwide

New York City walking

Pedestrian and Bicycle Publications 

Perils for Pedestrians

Rails to Trails Conservancy

Sustrans Safe Routes To Schools Project 
Major program in the UK to show how children can be encouraged to cycle and walk to school.

Transportation Alternatives in New York
promotes the use of bicycles as an environmentally friendly form of transportation.

UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Publishes Road Safety Education in Schools - Good Practice Guidelines which describe how communities and schools can create a safer pedestrian environment for children.

Vancouver Island Safety Council
Works to "prevent accidents of all kinds on the roads of British Columbia" by offering traffic safety programs, including pedestrian and bicycle safety education.

Walkable Communities, Inc.
Works with communities to create more people-oriented environments.

Studies on the Health Benefits of Walking and Cycling

National Center for Bicycling and Walking

CDC - Physical Activity - It's Everywhere You Go Campaign

Ian Roberts, Harry Owen, Peter Lumb, Colin MacDougall, Pedalling Health-Health Benefits of a Modal Transport Shift, Bicycle Institute of South Australia, 1996.

Livable Communities

The Transportation and Land Use Coalition's (TALC) Great Communities Collaborative has great info on organizing for smart growth and TOD.

The San Francisco Public Health Department has a Healthy Development Measurement Tool to measure the potential health benefits of proposed development.

U.S. EPA Offers Smart Growth Technical Assistance.

Survey of European carfree housing.

Western Australian Government Sustainable Cities Initiative

Center for Neighborhood Technology - Making Cities Work

Center for Livable Communities
Helps local governments and community leaders be proactive in their land use and transportation planning, and adopt programs and policies that lead to more livable and resource-efficient land use patterns.

Neal Pierce's columns and articles on the citistates concept.

Community and Environmental Defense Services
Legal clinic and consultants helping people defend their community and environment from the impacts of poorly planned housing projects, shopping centers, highways, landfills, mining and other land developments.

Community-Based Environmental Protection
Economics of Sustainability, working with local communities on environmental issues, environmental planning.

Congress for the New Urbanism
CNU views sprawl and the disinvestment in central cities, environmental deterioration, and the loss of agricultural lands and wilderness as one interrelated challenge. CNU supports the restoration of existing urban centers, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs, and the conservation of natural environments.

Environmental and Energy Study Institute's Sustainable Communities Pages.

Florida Sustainable Communities Center (FSCC)

Internet resources for the built environment

Global Green's Resource Efficiency & Sustainable Communities for the Urban Environment (R.E.S.C.U.E.) program.

Go for Green (Canada)

California Housing Law Project represents legal services programs, local government housing agencies, nonprofit housing developers, and tenant and senior organizations in the state legislature on affordable housing and land use issues for the past two decades.

James Howard Kunstler (The Geography of Nowhere) 
Interesting web site with links to some of his rather irreverent speeches.

Local Government Commission
A great resource on livable communities.

National Civic League and the Alliance for National Renewal  

Other sites: Top 20 sustainable community development web sites

PolicyLink has produced a new web-based toolkit for use in communities faced with gentrification, displacement and disinvestment.

Project for Public Spaces  
design of neighborhoods, parks and public spaces to enliven and encourage use.

SD ONLINE   (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions)
Focal point for WWW based Sustainable Development Information.

Southern California Association of Governments
Livable Communities webpage.

Sustainable Communities Network
Includes articles and information on: Creating Community, Smart Growth, Growing a Sustainable Economy, Protecting Natural Resources, Governing Sustainably, and Living Sustainably.  Several articles on sprawl as well.   Situates sprawl in the larger context of sustainability.

Sustainable Seattle

Together Foundation's Best Practices Database
A searchable database documenting solutions to common urban problems including poverty, access to land, claen water, population, shelter and transportation.

Transit-Oriented Development, by the Great American Station Foundation
Includes info on a grant program designed to " jump-start community efforts to restore rail stations as active inter-modal transportation facilities."

Transportation for Livable Communities
A resource for people working to create more livable communities by improving transportation.

World Health Organization Healthy Cities Project
Provides information on international efforts to create healthy cities.


Rich Carson, Editor for the "Urban and Regional Planning" category of the Open Directory Project (core directory services for the Web's largest search engines) named his picks for top ten planning websites:

About Planning

American Planning Association

Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy


Links for Planners

New Urbanism



Smart Growth Network

Sustainable Development Center

Traffic Calming

Canadian Guide to Neighbourhood Traffic Calming, Transportation Association of Canada

Fehr & Peers Associates, Inc. - traffic calming

City of Portland Traffic Calming website

Sprawl, Land Use, and Conservation

Carfree Cities: Beautiful photos, maps and descriptions of carfree cities and neighborhoods, and a free newsletter.

The American Farmland Trust
Regarding rural preservation: Information on conservation easements, private and public options for proserving open lands, and ways that local governments can help. Also includes news, state-by-state information on preservation, preservation techniques, publications, and an assistance center.

American Planning Association

The California Agricultural Land Stewardship Program
Describes incentives to promote long-term protection of agricultural land.

Center for Neighborhood Technology 
Offers Technical Assistance to Communities, plus information on Location Efficient Mortgages.

Colorado's Smart Growth Initiative
Coverage on a variety of issues, such as "Property Rights, Vested Rights and Intergovernmental Growth Issues," from a panel of the Interregional Council's Report to Gov. Romer.

Congress for the New Urbanism 
Technical Assistance to Communities, Local Governments and Professional on Designing and Financing Infill Development

US Department of Energy's Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development

Eco IQ 
Internet publications, professional development resources, and conulting and client services to help communities and local governments become more sustainable.  

Environmental Law and Policy Center, in the Midwest
Working with other environmental organizations around the region to develop sustainable transportation systems that enhance, not entrap, life in our cities and rural areas.

US Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Water's Nonpoint Source Control Branch
For state and local officials to find models and real-life examples of ordinances to help them protect water quality. Many of the model ordinances can be customized to local conditions. Also includes supporting materials such as examples of meeting notices, inspection check lists, and performance bonds.

Friends of the Earth's Citizens' Guide to Environmental Tax Shifting 

1000 Friends of Florida's "Stalling Sprawl: A Transportation Reform Initiative"
A three year initiative and study focusing on citizen participation, government advocacy, public education, and the links between transportation and land-use decisions.

1000 Friends of Florida's "Merge Lanes Ahead"
Fact-sheets relating transportation and car use, land use, and the environment.

1000 Friends of Oregon 
1000 Friends of Oregon is a nonprofit charitable organization, founded in 1975 by Governor Tom McCall and Henry Richmond, as the citizens' voice for land use planning that protects Oregon's quality of life from the effects of growth.

Going Places, Making Choices
A high school curriculum developed by the National 4-H Environmental Program that links sprawl, land use, and global warming.

The Great Plains Partnership
An effort by government agencies and local interests to solve conservation problems at the local level. Includes the entire Great Plains region of North America.

Green Communities Assistance Kit

Greenbelt Alliance
Greenbelt Alliance works to preserve open space in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.  See especially their section on Urban Growth Boundaries.

Global Green USA 
Resource Efficiency Models for Shopping Centers and Affordable Housing.

Great Swamp Watershed Association (New Jersey) 

Growth Management Services by the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development  
The mission of Growth Management Services is to help communities plan for growth and development, consistent with the state's Growth Management Act.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Organizing and information on reducing fossil fuel use, recycling and fighting chain stores.

International City/County Management Association 
Includes Smart Growth Network, Technical Assistance to Local Governments

The Jefferson Land Trust in Port Townsend,Washington
Includes explanations of numerous options for preserving open lands.

Land Trust Alliance
Includes information on protecting open spaces and links to other related organizations.

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
explores and explains taxation of land and buildings; land use and regulation; and land values, property rights and ownership.

Michigan Land Use Institute
Contains information and news on specific land use issues in Michigan as they relate to the environment, communities, and transportation.

National Association of Counties
Includes Technical Assistance to Counties; Primers on Sprawl

National Clearinghouse on Sprawl 
This is a great site that will provide you with other links. Please also share your info. with Alison Daly who runs this org. Her number is 202-588-6023 or

Natural Resources Defense Council
A photo gallery of contrasting sprawl and smart growth images

Oregon state land use planning 
Explains thoroughly the processes by which Oregon regulates land. The Policy News and Information Service
This edition of contains dozens of articles and reports on topics related to sprawl, such as: Traffic Congestion and Air Quality, Conservation Mechanisms, ISTEA and the Environment, Urban Revitalization, and How America is Fighting Sprawl.

Public Agenda
Readable description of sprawl

Renew America
Coordinates a network of community and environmental groups, businesses, and government leaders with ideas and expretise for improving the environment. Includes Environmental Success Index.

Resource Renewal Institute
Innovative environmental management in the US and abraod; promotes the advocacy and implementation of Green Plans

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Includes examples of conservation easements in western states.

The Smart Growth Network
Extensive resources, particularly reading lists, in smart growth as it relates to: economics, the environment, and community.  Also contains action resources including events, presentations and tool-kits for "Brownfield Development" and "Eco-Industrial Parks."

Strategic planning, field operations and voter campaigns to help communities stop the big box bulldozers.

Displays media articles about sprawl and smart growth.

Sustainability Education Program 

a web zine with occasional articles on sprawl and urban design.

The Trust for Public Land helps conserve land for recreation and spiritual nourishment and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities. TPL's Web site contains in-depth "how-to" conservation information and details of conservation success stories nationwide.

US Mayors' Association
Tools for City/County Collaborations on Smart Growth

University of Arizona College of Agriculture, Water Resources Research Center: Partnership Handbook
A resource for community-based groups addressing natural resource, land use, or environmental issues.

University of Wyoming: A Community Toolbox 
Prepared by the Institute for Environment and Natural Resources at the U of W, to provide communities with knowledge and resources to support the development of  strategic plans for managing sustainable growth and development.

Urban Land Institute

The W.K. Kellogg Collection of Rural Community Development Resources
Includes lists of publications related to preserving open spaces.

Western Governors' Association
Includes the Western Governors' Resolution on protecting open spaces, and the activities of the Great Plains Partnership.

Wyoming Governor's home page
Contains an Open Spaces Guidebook, with effects by sprawl on open space loss, a description of various techniques to preserve open space, and a thorough resources listing.

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