Smart growth uses the term "open space” broadly to mean natural areas both in and surrounding localities that provide important community space, habitat for plants and animals, recreational opportunities, farm and ranch land (working lands), places of natural beauty, and critical environmental areas (e.g. wetlands).
Open space preservation supports smart growth goals by bolstering local economies, preserving critical environmental areas, improving our communities quality of life, and guiding new growth into existing communities.
Open space protects animal and plant habitats, places of natural beauty, and working lands by removing the development pressure and redirecting new growth to existing communities.
Management of the quality and supply of open space also ensures that prime farm and ranch lands are available, prevents flood damage, and provides a less expensive and natural alternative for providing clean drinking water.
Link land conservation with other smart growth principles.
Incorporate land conservation into transportation planning.
Take advantage of nature's eco-services.
Support tree preservation through public-private partnerships.
Invest in the rural economy to preserve working lands.
Use land management techniques and acquisition to protect drinking water sources.
Use innovative permitting approaches to protect critical environmental areas.