NCEF Resource List: Smart Growth and Schools
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Information on schools in relation to issues of planning and community development, economic impact, smart growth vs. sprawl, and conservation of open spaces.

References to Books and Other Media

Public Schools: A Toolkit for REALTORS®
(National Association of Realtors, Jun 2011)
Toolkit to help realtors enhance their knowledge and understanding of the public school system so they can become involved in improving their schools and communities. A section on Issues in Public Education includes the following topics: the benefits of green schools; walkability and safe routes to school; school building and siting; teachers living where they work; and how schools are funded. Section two shares examples of realtors and realtor associations around the country that are playing an active role in engaging local students and improving local schools by serving on school boards, volunteering at local schools, donating their time to community-wide efforts to improve schools, and advocating for local school-related initiatives.

References to Journal Articles

A Safe Environment
Pratachandran, Sarat
School Planning and Management; Dec 2011
Discusses the EPA's first-ever federal guidelines for locating school facilities that encourage high-performance schools, stress the importance of locating schools near populations and infrastructure and promote schools as diverse centers of communities. They urge communities to consider children's ability to walk to school, access to public transportation and how to locate schools away from potential environmental hazards.

School Siting: Contested Visions of the Community School.
Journal of the American Planning Association; v76 n2 , p1-15 ; Apr 2010
Traces the evolution of school siting standards, explains factors currently influencing school facility location decisions, and identifies what local and regional planners could contribute to school siting decisions. The author's research discovered that different groups use very different definitions of community school. Smart growth proponents advocate community schools that are small and intimately linked to neighborhoods, while school facility planners expect community schools to meet the needs of entire localities. She recommends that individual communities consider the tradeoffs associated with different school sizes and make choices that meet local preferences for locations within walking distance of students, potential for sports fields, school design, and connections to neighborhoods. State school construction and siting policies should support flexibility for localities.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).