The healthier a community, the better the environment for REALTORS®. Keeping a community attractive, livable and functioning well is a complex task. Who better to be stewards of their community than REALTORS®? Whether your community is grappling with transportation and land use issues, crowded schools or open space, or working to bring vacant properties back to productive use, NAR's Smart Growth program has resources to help your association plant seeds that will pay dividends for your members for years to come.
NAR offers many Smart Growth resources and programs specifically for association staff, including grants, issue research and assistance, publications and polling and surveys. Learn about these programs by exploring this section!
Find answers to who owns the water beneath or bordering a property, withdrawing water from your property, accessing more water resources, and other water-related issues.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the mailing of anthrax-laced letters along the East Coast upped the ante for agencies that provide public services, including water. But efforts to secure the nation’s water supply go back to the Clinton years. And in the past decade, the water utility sector has made many voluntary advances to protect drinking water.
You could make the argument there’s no such thing as “new” water; it’s not something we can create more of. But an area with a growing population in need of more water has various options for increasing its supply of usable or even potable water. Some, such as the trans-mountain diversions of Colorado, have been in use for decades, but are fraught with controversy. Others, like the groundwater replenishment system in Orange Co., Calif., are relatively new and expensive, but promising.
According to many concerned with future water supply, whether as municipal utility officials or as developers, real estate professionals, and citizens, we need to pay close attention to climate change projections. “Most of the really important impacts of climate change are not going to come directly from temperature increases but because of changes to the water cycle,” says Brad Udall, director of the Western Water Assessment at the University of Colorado and a member of a family known for its political and environmental achievements.
Many who work with water supply issues say if we’re worried about an adequate water supply now or in the future, we should look first to conservation. It’s no different from fixing a leak in your home plumbing. Why would you think about digging another well to supply water to your home if part of your current supply is lost to a leak?
The United States needs to come up with a lot of money to maintain and repair water infrastructure. The estimated shortfall in funding is $20 billion a year for the next five years, says the American Society of Civil Engineers. States and the federal government are broke, and anti-tax sentiment is high. Is our infrastructure doomed to fail?
In 2007, Atlanta--a city not accustomed to drought as Phoenix or other southwestern cities are--came within a month of running out of water during a severe dry spell. The Atlanta metropolitan area’s water requirements are expected to double by 2030 as the population balloons to 8 million. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Atlanta no longer has exclusive rights to Lake Lanier and must share its water with Alabama and Florida. Where will residents of the Peach State’s capital get their water?
Adopted by the NAR Board of Directors on May 17, 2008
Find answers to your questions about transportation, including how roads and public transit are funded and what effect they have on real estate.
Public transit can increase the development potential of real estate near high-capacity transit lines and stations, and thereby increase property values. This “transit premium” can range from as little as a few percent increase to over 150 percent. The amount depends largely on the local regulatory environment, regional connections, and national and regional economics. Achieving the potential for this increased value of property also generally requires building more complex, mixed-use projects at higher densities, which entails higher costs of development and higher risks.
As America’s transportation system runs low on money, one way to bridge the gap between needs and available funds is through public-private partnerships (PPPs). PPPs may be initiated to construct new facilities, to operate and maintain existing ones, or both. On the positive side of the ledger, they may reduce project costs and give government improved access to innovation and technology. But on the other hand the public can grow dissatisfied when the control of public assets rests with private companies and those companies set and collect tolls and fees.
In years past, transportation planners would look at projections for population growth and land use changes in their communities and use that information to estimate the future demand for roads. Then they’d draw up construction plans to meet that demand.