New Case Studies on Conservation Design and Smart Growth

The case studies listed below describe and illustrate residential, commercial, and mixed-use developments that are notable for their innovative features, such as compact design enabling more land to be conserved for infiltration and recharge. They are similar to the 76 case studies included in the 2015 update of Rural by Design (subtitled Planning for Town and Country), which contains a long chapter on “low-impact development” approaches to manage stormwater more effectively.

To paraphrase from the introduction to that book, “my goal has always been to provide the kind of resource that I wish had been available when I was a graduate student and young planner, nearly fifty years ago. The topics and examples have been selected to be of the greatest value to people interested in land-use planning, including university students, those teaching them, those working in the profession, and those preparing for professional exams, in addition to the unsung heroes in our communities who donate their time to serve as members of local boards and commissions. All of these people need relevant information, and my goal then, as now, has been to create a comprehensive resource filled with useful material and examples they could easily access, understand, and apply in their work.”

The case studies are available for free download from the Online Watershed Library using the links below.

Readers are also invited to visit my website which contains more than 30 free downloadable articles spanning a wide range of planning and development topics, many with a strong conservation orientation: Readers who have specific questions may contact me at

Source for aerial photos in case studies: Google 2017


Randall Arendt


Randall Arendt is a landscape planner, site designer, author, lecturer, and an advocate of “conservation planning.” He received his B.A. degree from Wesleyan University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.Phil. degree in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was a St. Andrew’s Scholar. He is Senior Conservation Advisor at the Natural Lands Trust in Media, Pennsylvania, and is the former Director of Planning and Research at the Center for Rural Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he also served as an Adjunct Professor. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute in London. In 2004 he was named an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and in 2005 he received the American Institute of Architects’ Award for Collaborative Achievement. In 2008 he received an honorary degree in Landscape Planning and Design by the Conway School of Landscape Design, in Conway, Massachusetts.

2018-02-27T13:00:12+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|