Smart growth is about collaboration, cooperation, coordination and compromise," Rosan said. "It involves balancing the rights of communities to determine responsible growth patterns with the rights of individual owners to decide what to do with their property. Bringing people face to face to exchange ideas is part of our search for common ground, for common sense solutions to growth-related problems

Some of the obstacles blocking widespread development of smart growth communities include opposition from community residents who feel left out of the planning process, as well as out-of-date zoning ordinances and processes that restrict flexible design alternatives, the group noted.

In some cases, community opposition can be overcome by showing residents how smart growth development will help sustain, rather than change, the character of their communities, said Marcos DeLeon, a representative of the National Neighborhood Coalition from Austin conveyancer In order for poor people and communities of color to support smart growth, they must be part of the process. They don’t want to be pushed out of their neighborhoods.

Smart growth development should benefit the entire community, not just those who will be living in development itself,” he said. Developers, planners, environmentalists, and the public at large -- need predictability that comes from long-range planning, said Edward T. McMahon, representing The Conservation Fund in Arlington, Va.