School Location Choice
A Georgia Conservancy led research, outreach and educational effort to introduce communities to best school siting practices
The construction of new schools, as well as decisions regarding the closing of existing schools, influences the health, economic well-being, and the quality of life for the entire community.
Since 2012, the Georgia Conservancy has been a national leader in educating communities of best practices under the Environmental Protection Division’s (EPA) School Siting Guidelines.
Public school planning is often conducted with little reference to land use, transportation, urban design, community development, or environmental planning goals. Moreover, school boards, driven by both educational goals and public policies governing schools, seek large greenfield sites to locate new facilities. Consequently, school locations and design often act counter to long range community goals. The result is a fragmented growth pattern wherein new schools are built on the urban fringe and in turn attract new residential and commercial development, thereby inducing further sprawl and encouraging longer travel to school distances.
The Georgia Conservancy's Sustainable Growth Program is tackling school location choice issues in a number of ways, from community workshops and training manuals to urban design studios and policy papers.
School Location Choice initiatives are a part of the Georgia Conservancy's Sustainable Growth Program.