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Smart Growth for Small Towns

Smart Growth for Small Towns relates the principles of Smart Growth to towns and rural communities, providing examples, discussion, explanation, and advice on community design and development.

The educational information provided on this site is intended to contribute to an understanding of the intent and purpose of the Smart Growth principles. However, planning for the future of our small towns requires input from a variety of fields and includes issues of design, policymaking, and governance. This site is focused primarily upon design issues associated with small towns and is intended to serve as a resource for government officials, teachers, designers, and the general public.

The explanation of each Smart Growth principle includes the following:

A.) Discussion of the purpose of the principles and why it is important.

B.) Strategies that suggest actions communities can take to help achieve the goals of the principle.

Ten Principles of Smart Growth:

  1. Mix land uses
  2. Take advantage of compact building design
  3. Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  4. Create walkable neighborhoods
  5. Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  6. Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas
  7. Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  8. Provide a variety of transportation choices
  9. Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective
  10. Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions

Smart Growth for Small Towns is a cooperative project of Extension faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development. For more information contact Michael Seymour, Associate Extension Professor at Michael.Seymour@msstate.edu or Jeremy Murdock, Research Associate at Jeremy@sig.msstate.edu.

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News

Man wearing a reflective safety vest looks at a white drone he is holding at shoulder height. A toppled pine tree and empty agricultural field are in the background.
Filed Under: Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Farming, Disaster Response April 18, 2019

HAMILTON, Miss. -- Determining the extent of tornado damage to farms in Monroe County will take weeks, but video shot from flying drones will speed up the process.

Mississippi State University Extension Service personnel have been assisting in relief efforts since the morning after an EF-2 tornado on April 13 damaged more than 140 homes in Hamilton, claiming one life and injuring 19 others.

A man in work clothes, baseball cap and wading boots stands in water outside his boat holding a paddle.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Corn, Cotton, Soybeans, Farming, Community, Disaster Response April 11, 2019

Near a bridge that connects Issaquena and Sharkey counties, Waye Windham leaned toward the side of his boat and dipped a paddle down into flood water to gauge its depth.

The water was too deep for the paddle to reach the ground. Riding with Windham was Lacey Little, who tried a much longer wooden post.

Filed Under: Community, Landscape Architecture April 11, 2019

The public can gain greater appreciation for one of Mississippi’s cultural treasures during a unique exhibition.

Two men and a woman, all wearing baseball caps and reflective yellow vests, look at a roadmap spread out on a table in a large, empty, well-lit room.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Disaster Response February 26, 2019

The tornado in Lowndes County and widespread flooding in north Mississippi have triggered a variety of helpful “boots on the ground” to provide needed care and guidance.

A man’s hand reaches into a box of files, pulling back the corner of one folder.
Filed Under: Community, Disaster Preparedness, Family, Family Financial Management, Basic Money Management, Disaster Relief February 14, 2019

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Movies depict many scenarios where a person has to leave home quickly, and those scenes show how important it is to grab the right items.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management Extension associate with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said cash and financial records should be high on the list of items to take in an emergency.

Success Stories

An elderly woman wearing an orange striped shirt stands in front of a large, multicolored, needlepoint county map of Mississippi.
Community, Leadership, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers
Volume 5 Number 1

When she came to her first Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers meeting in 1968, Rae Clarke accompanied her aunt, Versie Manning, who insisted Clarke come to the Thanksgiving party.

4-H, Community, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Design and Management, Youth Gardening
Volume 5 Number 1

See what's new in Extension: Extension Supports University's Community Garden, Extension Appoints New 4-H Staff, Extension Landscape Symposium Honors Professor Emeritus, and Extension's Southern Gardener Opens Little Free Garden

A man in a blue shirt and a woman in a grey shirt with a black cardigan stand holding a banner that says “Welcome…the Square Kosciusko.”
Community, Economic Development
Volume 5 Number 1

There’s nothing quite like a charming Main Street. Lined with local shops, restaurants, and businesses, these streets are essential to building vibrant communities.

A man wearing a light blue and white striped shirt and blue jeans stands in front of Belmont City Hall.
Community, Public Water System Assistance Program, Rural Development
Volume 5 Number 1

For the last few years, Gary Gasaway and Buddy Wiltshire have been nervous during the winter months. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

A man with a white 4-H shirt and khaki pants stands in the Mississippi capitol building holding a golden frame with the 4-H green four-leaf clover in the center. Surrounding the logo in a circle are more than 20 4-H pins.
4-H, 4-H Forestry, Community, Economic Development
Volume 4 Number 3

Harry Dendy of Clinton first joined the Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development program in Chickasaw County 62 years ago, when he was 10 years old. Forestry was his main project area.

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