With more than half the U.S. population living in coastal counties that cover less than 17 percent of U.S land area, local government officials in those areas must strike a balance between development and protecting the environment. A new report from the Washington-based International City/County Management Association (ICMA) offers tips on how to achieve sustainable growth on the coast.

Released in September, "Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities" offers 10 guidelines for bringing smart growth to coastal and waterfront communities. Topics examined in the report include:

  • Mixed land uses, including water-dependent uses
  • Compact community design
  • Housing opportunities and ways to meet the needs of seasonal and permanent residents
  • Walkable communities
  • Attractive waterfront communities with a strong sense of place
  • Waterfront revitalization
  • Land- and water-based transportation
  • Community and stakeholder collaboration in decision-making

ICMA worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Butte, Mont.-based National Center for Appropriate Technology's Smart Growth Network, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Narragansett, R.I.-based Rhode Island Sea Grant Program to create the report. Get free copies of the "Smart Growth for Coastal and Waterfront Communities" report on NOAA's Web site or from www.epa.gov/smartgrowth.

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