Form Follows Finance: Unplugging Economic/Planning Barriers


  • How to identify policy barriers that may thwart smart-growth objectives
  • How to use geo-design and graphic visualization of big data to tell the story of how sprawl undermines community objectives and efficient growth
  • How to develop intergovernmental and NGO relationships to facilitate smart growth in unconventional ways


Planners are increasingly being asked to examine the economic/fiscal impacts of plans, policies, and projects. This can mean understanding market opportunities in specific sectors of real estate to inform land-use policies or regulations, the amount of jobs and ad valorem tax revenues created by specific projects or uses, or overall viability and return-on-investment of public participation in a specific use or catalyst project. Learn how to approach these questions, the analyses involved, and their use in the planning process as well as applicable implementation mechanisms from several case studies across the state. Like many communities across the country, Lafayette, Louisiana, is struggling to meet the financial needs of providing expected levels of service and community infrastructure. And like many communities, the struggle of competing interests is also not unique. However, Lafayette has demonstrated a willingness to "get to the bottom" of the issues underlying the economic forces backed within public policy and practices of economic development, municipal finance, and regional development.