The greater Champaign-Urbana region is among the least sprawling in the country according to a new report out today from Smart Growth America — and that’s great news for C-U’s families.
Measuring Sprawl 2014 examines development in 221 major metropolitan areas in the United States, and ranks each region’s development on a national index. With a score of 145.2, the greater Champaign-Urbana region ranks near the top of the list at number 5 out of 221.
“Champaign-Urbana has been working for the last 14 years to encourage smart growth and new development that provides our citizens with choices in transportation, housing, and employment. The high level of transit service, improvements in sidewalks and infrastructure for bicycling have given residents the ability to live, work, and play without having to own a car if they choose. Studies show that the quality of life is a primary consideration for recruiting new residents and/or business to our community and being able to walk, bike or take transit is high on the list of factors.”
The new report also examines how sprawl relates to several quality of life factors. The researchers found that individuals in more compact, connected metro areas have greater economic mobility; spend less on the combined expenses of housing and transportation; have more transportation options; and lead longer, healthier, safer lives
“Smart growth strategies are about making life better for everyone in a community,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “If policymakers are looking for ways to lower costs for their constituents, improve public health and support their broader economy, they need to be thinking about how to improve their development.”