Sustainable development refers to practices that pursue growth that is economically sound, environmentally conscious, and equitable. The HRPDC provides assistance, conducts research and planning efforts, and facilitates and coordinates efforts with its localities to promote sustainable development across Hampton Roads.
The HRPDC helps coordinate efforts by localities to promote energy efficiency and conservation practices by local governments, business, and residents. This includes identifying sources of funding, researching and identifying best practices, and promoting discussion between stakeholders.
Smart Growth refers to planning tools and practices that result in development that provides choices to residents, a good return on public investments such as infrastructure, and protects the environment. In 2005, planning, economics, and transportation staff at the HRPDC jointly conducted a regional Smart Growth Analysis, which analyzed the transportation and emissions impacts of a smart growth scenario that concentrated future population and employment growth in nodes compared to a traditional, “business as usual” scenario. HRPDC staff is also researching best practices for development that would enhance water quality and help with stormwater management.