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Communities of Opportunity: Smart Growth Strategies for Colleges and Universities

August 16, 2007

In July 2007, NACUBO and Ayers/Saint/Gross released a publication entitled Communities of Opportunity: Smart Growth Strategies for Colleges and Universities. Institutions of higher education across the United States have adopted smart growth strategies to help ensure that new growth and development meet the institutions’ mission to provide high-quality education, support research and innovation, and serve the community in which they live.

The publication, co-authored with the Environmental Protection Agency and Cunningham Quill Architects, begins with an overview of smart growth strategies and then makes a four-part argument for adopting such strategies:

1. Creating thriving, vibrant places helps to attract and keep the best students, faculty, and staff.
2. Smart growth development patterns are a more efficient use of scarce resources and are better investments.
3. Colleges and universities and the surrounding communities can work together across the traditional boundary of the campus to solve challenges in mutually beneficial ways.
4. Better development patterns allow colleges and universities to improve their environmental performance.

Examples are included from more than 20 institutions across the country and they are just a sample of the good work that is being done. NACUBO hopes this publication raises awareness about the leadership being taken by institutions and creates even more opportunities for smart growth on campuses and in communities.

Contact: Michele Madia, director, environmental leadership.