Investing in a Better Future: A Review of the Fiscal and Competitive Advantages of Smarter Growth Development Patterns

With the collapse of the 1990s stock market bubble and several years of national economic slowdown, a tense new climate of austerity has sharpened debates over government spending, economic development, and the physical growth of states and metropolitan areas.

Leaders in this environment are eager for fiscally prudent ways to simultaneously support their communities and stimulate their economies.

This paper makes the case that more compact development patterns and investing in projects to improve urban cores would save taxpayers' money and improve regions' overall economic performance. To that end, it relies on a review of the best academic empirical literature to weigh the extent to which a new way of thinking about growth and development can benefit governments, businesses, and regions during these fiscally stressed times.