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Conservation Design, Low Impact Development,
Smart Growth & Sustainable Development
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Conservation Design is a design approach to site development that protects and incorporates natural site features into the stormwater management plan.

Center for Watershed Protection


The Stormwater Manager's Resource Center


US EPA Watershed Academy Web


This Web site offers a variety of self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field. The modules are organized by the six themes listed above. Modules vary in the time they to complete, from ½ hour to 2 hours. Fifteen of them are the core modules for the Watershed Academy Certificate Program.


Low Impact Development is a new, comprehensive land planning and engineering design approach with a goal of maintaining and enhancing the pre-development hydrologic regime of urban and developing watersheds.

Low Impact Development Center, Inc


Low Impact Development Center, Inc.


US EPA Low-Impact Development (LID) page



Smart Growth involves policies that set transportation and land use planning policy for urban areas that benefits communities by preserving the natural environment. Smart growth advocates land use patterns that are compact, walkable, bicycle-friendly, public transit oriented, and include mixed-use development with a range of housing choices. A major goal is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping the highest density in the center of town.

Comprehensive planning is used to design and revitalize communities with a unique sense of community and place; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; expand the range of transportation, employment and housing choices; value long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short term focus; and promote public health and healthy communities.

US EPA Smart Growth page



Sustainable Development Defined: Like other large, guiding concepts such as justice or liberty, sustainable development has many definitions. Most interpretations share the fundamental ideas expressed in the definition found in Minnesota Statutes, Section 4A.07: "development that maintains or enhances economic opportunity and community well-being while protecting and restoring the natural environment upon which people and economies depend. Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Minnesota’s Sustainable Development Initiative


Minnesota’s Sustainable Development Initiative


Smart Communities Network



Sustainable Development definitions