Smart growth and the scalar politics of land management in the Greater Boston region, USA
Recent decades have witnessed a significant transformation in strategies of urban environmental governance as authority has shifted from statist command-and-control systems to more horizontal, networked forms of governance-beyond-the-state. In the USA the changing nature of state authority over urban-regional planning processes has been particularly dramatic in metropolitan regions promoting 'smart-growth' agendas. Smart-growth strategies address regional planning and land-development concerns through market-based incentive programs aimed at increasing development densities and coordinating other land-management priorities. This paper explores the scalar politics through which smart-growth policies in the Greater Boston region of Massachusetts (USA) are being constructed and contested. In this region the state of Massachusetts has used incentive programs, new forms of regulation, and public-private coalitions to implement a smart-growth agenda that seeks to ameliorate the region's housing crisis and sustain its pool of knowledge-economy workers, but these programs also challenge the traditional authority of local communities in governing land-use decisions. Crucial to this assertion of land-management authority at the state scale has been the legacies of past forms of authority and land management, the ability of the state to exploit the positionalities of key actors associated with the smart-growth agenda, and the role of crises (in housing, congestion) in making increased state control more palatable. © 2013 Pion and its Licensore.
Environment and Planning A
McCauley, Stephen M. and Murphy, James T., "Smart growth and the scalar politics of land management in the Greater Boston region, USA" (2013). Geography. 403.