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SG-W:/ Fwd: Backgrounder on ECO-COMPASS, 10/22/99 From Sprawlwatch: Pro-Sprawl Playe


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---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date:        10/22  4:02 PM
Received:    10/22  4:18 PM
From:        Alphonse MacDonald, ipress@igc.org
To:          islandpress-l@igc.topica.com

Sprawl Watch
Volume 1, Number 11 - October 20 1999
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This issue of Sprawl Watch is available on the web at:

Backgrounder on Pro-Sprawl Players and Messages  

As sprawl becomes a national issue, critics are attacking the efforts of 
citizens, public officials, public transportation advocates and 
environmentalists who support smart growth.  

Opposition to smart growth efforts comes from a small number of vocal 
critics affiliated with private "property rights" organizations, free 
market think tanks and home builder and development interests.  In 
brief, "property rights" advocates claim that controls on growth trample 
individual property rights, free enterprise advocates say smart growth 
efforts tamper with free market mechanisms, and building and real estate 
development interests claim it is consumer preferences that determine 
sprawl-type development patterns, not builders. 

Some of the critics of smart growth have appeared before in attacks 
against global warming, the Endangered Species Act, and other issues. 
Some of the critics of smart growth have appeared before in attacks 
against global warming, the Endangered Species Act, and other issues. 
Many of the players simply rehash arguments provided by the anti-science 
or "junk science movement".  Through a well-honed campaign, these 
critics twist facts through well-practiced rhetoric to support a 
political agenda intent on maintaining short-term economic interests.  
The campaign has several features:  

…Anti-smart growth sentiment is endlessly repeated and flooded over 
media outlets to give it the aura of credibility.  

…Critics rally support against growth measures by playing to the 
public's general lack of knowledge about land use issues, development 
patterns, costs of growth, zoning, subsidies of sprawl, and other 
aspects of growth and development.  

Below are a few of the players and institutions (along with some of 
their affiliations and products) opposed to smart growth.  For a more 
complete list, link to http://www.sprawlwatch.org/communications.html.


…Gregg Easterbrook gained attention with his "environmental optimism" 
perspective in his recent book, A Moment on Earth:  The Coming Age of 
Environmental Optimism published in 1995.  He recently authored the 
article "Suburban Myth," in the New Republic, March 15, 1999.  

…American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a conservative 
association that exchanges information research and ideas advocating 
"free enterprise". One of it's "issue analysis" publications is titled 
"The American Dream Under Fire-Part I:  The Impact of Growth Boundaries 
on Affordable Housing (January 1999)". ALECís alumni include 83 members 
of Congress and 13 sitting or former Governors.  ALEC drafts model 
legislation that promotes free market ideas and policies.  At its most 
recent Annual Meeting, touted as the  ìlargest gathering of 
conservatives held each yearî nearly 3,000 state legislators, business 
leaders, association executives and public policy experts met.  One of 
the sessions held was called Growth Boundaries: The Dark Side of  ìSmart 
Growthî.  On March 22, ALEC held an issues briefing on urban growth in 
Philadelphia. Co-sponsored with the Commonwealth Foundation of 
Pennsylvania, the program included ALECís Pennsylvania State Chair, Rep. 
Robert Flick, Sean Duffy of the Commonwealth Foundation, Dr. Steven 
Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute, John Charles of the Cascade 
Policy Institute, and Task Force Director Christopher Doss. Website: 
…Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) was founded in 1984.  The 
Washington-based conservative policy group is "dedicated to the 
principles of free enterprise, individual liberty and limited 
government."  CEI is a member of ECO and the Heritage Foundation 
network. Its website devotes a space to property rights, "takings" and 
"growth controls".  CEI published "A Free-Market Guide to Suburban 
Development & Urban  'Sprawl' " in March 1999.  CEI publishes CEI 
Update, Competitive Enterprise Index (Annual Analyses of Congressional 
Voting Records on Free Enterprise Issues), and Free Market 
Environmentalism.  Its press Laissez Faire published Public Policy and 
the Quality of Life, by Randall G. Holcombe, Professor of Economics at 
Florida State University and Chairman of the Research Advisory Council 
of the James Madison Institute. Contact:  1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 
Suite 1250, Washington, D.C.  20036, Phone 202.547.1010 Website: 

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The Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse is a resource center, which provides
information, advice, and referrals on issues related to sprawl, smart
growth and livable communities. The Clearinghouse helps advocates,
grassroots organizations, public officials, developers, planners,
policymakers, architects and others revitalize existing communities and
reduce urban sprawl. Support for Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse is provided
by the Turner Foundation, Inc., The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
the Surdna Foundation, and the Educational Foundation of America.

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