Smart Growth Initiative: Surdna Foundation et al, 1999

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



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In 1999, the New York-based Surdna Foundation launched the Smart Growth Initiative to promote smart growth development and demonstration in four states: New Jersey, Maryland, New Mexico, and Utah. The Foundation chose to operate in four very different states so as to develop a broad range of workable Smart Growth strategies that could be adapted to varying environments. With funding of approximately $1 million per year over a projected three to five years, the Initiative focused on "reducing vehicle miles traveled" so as to mitigate air pollution while at the same time spurring controlled growth, job creation, and economic prosperity. Surdna invited six other foundations—the Turner, Irvine, Ford, MacArthur, Packard, and Energy Foundations—to join it in creating the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, a consortium "established to inform and strengthen philanthropic funders’ individual and collective abilities to support and connect organizations working to . . . create better economies, build livable communities, and protect and preserve natural resources."



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