and subsidies to home buyers through Location Efficient Mortgages
all geared towards more
compact energy and travel efficient land use arrangements. A recent variant on this idea is the Smart
Growth Tax Credit (SGTC), a legislative tool recently developed for state use by the Natural Resources
Defense Council (NRDC).
The idea grew out of New York state's Green Building Tax Credit, signed
into law in May 2002.
The SGTC legislation, introduced into the New Jersey legislative sessions in 2004, seeks to
create an incentive program to encourage developers to invest in locationally efficient residential and
mixed use construction projects that minimize land and water consumption, are pedestrian friendly, and
facilitate use of public transit. The program proposes a credit against income taxes equal to 4 percent of
the developer's project costs (excluding the cost of the land), with additional credits up to 11 percent of
the costs possible if a development includes a brownfield site, creates mixed land use, encourages signif
icant increases in residential density, limits the area developed for automobile parking, encourages public
transit use, and includes green buildings that are LEED certified. This and related locational efficiency
research has led to the LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND) concept of using the existing
LEED Green Building Rating System
to create a new rating system that takes into account location,
density, and proximity to transit, as well as green building practices that is, combining green and smart
growth practices based on comparable measures of energy savings.
Other efforts to reduce region wide VMT include the promotion of improved transit services and
planning support for transit oriented developments that encourage the construction of residential,
commercial, and public agency buildings along public (notably light rail) transit lines.
address the rapidly growing urban freight sector also need to be developed, including policies that
recognize the growing importance of a now large fleet of small service commercial vehicles,
as the larger semi trailers that deliver to retail and industrial land uses spread throughout the modern
metropolitan area. In all cases, better coordination of local, citywide, and statewide planning will be
required to achieve significant VMT reductions and to avoid not in my back yard (NIMBY) responses.
Towards a Climate Friendly