Many government agencies in North Carolina and other states have promoted the concept of “smart growth.” But a new John Locke Foundation Policy Report labels the policies associated with “smart” growth as misguided and ineffective.

Report author Michael Lowrey touts instead the concept of “flex growth.”

“Smart growth represents a backward-looking model for economic development that attempts to turn North Carolina’s calendar back to the 19th century. But the densely built, rail transit-dependent cities promoted by smart growth do not represent how most people want to live. In contrast, ‘flex growth’ is based on the idea that people — not government bureaucrats and planners — know what’s best for themselves.”

Lowrey’s report outlines nine key aspects of flex growth. Together those elements offer smarter options for North Carolina’s future than smart growth, he said.