[Excerpt] In communities across the United States the pressures of population and economic growth, and the market interactions between the two, are spurring unprecedented residential, industrial and commercial development. Such development is rapidly accelerating around urban centers as declining transportation costs, increasing residential and commercial demands, and both direct and indirect governmental incentives make relatively inexpensive agricultural land surrounding such centers attractive for private development. This development has led to the transformation of small town America and its accompanying countryside into a sprawling concrete land of highways, residential subdivisions, strip malls and suburban industrial parks. Farmland surrounding urban centers has been paved over and planted with homes and malls while the historic main streets, neighborhoods, and larger central business districts of America's major cities have seen a decline in population and overall economic health.
LeClear, E. (2002). Conservation development and smart growth: A development technique for open space protection. Cornell Real Estate Review, 1, 23-35.