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Abstract

Rapid and unplanned urban growth in the urbanizing and rural fringe areas of the United States has led to numerous problems for state, local, and regional governments. In particular, six crises are readily identifiable, each of which threatens to undermine quality of life and local competitive economic advantage. These crises include the following: (1) deterioration of central cities, first-ring suburbs, and closer-in neighborhoods, resulting in depopulation and abandonment of housing and the employment base; (2) spiraling suburban sprawl, creating massive infrastructure as well as energy costs; (3) loss of prime agricultural lands; (4) environmental crises and threats to open space, air and water quality, environmentally sensitive lands, and natural resources; (5) transportation congestion and resultant loss of quality of life; and (6) inflating cost of housing and its effect on affordable housing. These problems do not lend themselves to facile solutions or quick fixes; they must be addressed through the development and application of comprehensive state and regional growth management plans." This Article explores the history and development of growth management and delineates how growth management planning for the Washington Puget Sound region can be effectively implemented to provide a comprehensive system for attaining environmental and transit objectives.