Smart Growth Collaborative

Smart Growth is a pattern of development in the region that sustains community and economic development; strong neighborhoods with diverse housing, commercial, and transportation options; and, healthy communities with a clean environment. Smart Growth provides choices in housing and transportation; makes efficient use of public investments such as schools and transportation systems; and, safeguards community and environmental values. In the Research Triangle Region, smart growth is exemplified by eight regional development, conservation and mobility principles adopted by Triangle J, the Greater Triangle Regional Council and the Triangle Smart Growth Coalition.


The Smart Growth Collaborative

The Smart Growth Collaborative meets quarterly to address land use and development issues within the region and serve as Triangle J Council of Governments’ link to related issues such as transportation and open space.  Technical teams or small group meetings may be created on an as-needed basis to develop or respond to specific initiatives or research projects. The role of TJCOG is to convene parties interested in furthering responsible community growth in the region, and facilitate collaborative and informative meetings. 


The Smart Growth Collaborative provides an opportunity to:

  • Address a desire by many elected officials, staff, and entities impacted by development and growth stressors to have a mechanism for information exchange within the region.
  • Discuss the implications of and respond to proposed state and federal policies.
  • Provide education and awareness of the importance of utilizing sound principles for resource conservation and development. This could include pertinent case studies, legal outcomes, guest speakers, and alternative strategy discussion.
  • Undertake research and reporting on regional planning initiatives.


Structure & Participation

The Smart Growth Collaborative is chaired by local elected officials and staffed by TJCOG employees. Meetings are open to all interested persons, and participants are drawn from five types of organizations:

  • Local and state governments, including elected and appointed officials, managers, and staff from departments addressing planning, transportation, stormwater, sustainability, parks and recreation, aging, and other related programs;
  • Business organizations, such as chambers of commerce, homebuilder associations, and realtors;
  • University departments, such as the UNC Department of City & Regional Planning, the NCSU School of Design, Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, NCCU's Geography Department;
  • Regional non-governmental organizations that address development, planning, and conservation issues, such as GoTriangle, the Triangle Land Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, the NC Conservation Network, and the Conservation Trust for NC; and
  • Civic groups with an interest in development, planning, and conservation issues.



Concerns about land use and development issues have a long history at TJCOG.  A Land Use Advisory Committee was first organized in 1976, and was referred to more recently as the Smart Growth Committee. The Smart Growth Collaborative currently meets four times per year, including joint meetings with the Water Resources Collaborative on topics of mutual interest.


Collaborative Members                                                         Collaborative Overview (PDF)