This paper addresses the growing population trends in California; the need to counteract the current model of community sprawl by designing smarter schools and community growth strategies; and the changes in planning, policies, and practices needed to achieve these goals. Recommended strategies described support the following actions: more participatory and community-based planning; innovative educational facilities that promote the concept of learning communities and schools as centers of community; the joint use of all public facilities; the planning of urban and suburban projects based on the principles of smart growth; the assessment of all public expenditures based on the concept of integrated resource development; and the development of an ongoing vehicle for communications and decision-making between all agencies, institutions and organizations involved in education reform and smart growth issues. Six case studies are highlighted that illustrate some of the goals outlined for smarter schools and smarter growth strategies.
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