Madison among the least sprawling in the country, #1 for medium size cities

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 1:25pm

New report ranks major metropolitan areas based on their development, and examines how sprawl relates to prosperity, health, and quality of life

Washington, DC—The greater Madison region is among the least sprawling in the country and the best, the number one among medium size cities according to a new report out today from Smart Growth America—and that’s great news for capital area families.

Measuring Sprawl 2014 examines development in 221 major metropolitan areas in the United States, and ranks each region’s development on a national index. With a score of 136.69, the greater Madison region ranks near the top of the list at number 13 out of 221.

"Today’s findings are a reflection of years of commitment to compact neighborhoods, walkable communities, and scalable development that shows an appreciation for people and the land we inhabit. We will continue to build on this success as our placemaking initiatives lead to an even better city. We will not rest, content with our past efforts, said Mayor Paul Soglin. The City of Madison, together with our metro area partners, is proud to be part of that broader, region-wide effort and we hope to see our score improve even more in the next 10 years."

The new report also examines how sprawl relates to several quality of life factors. The researchers found that individuals in more compact, connected metro areas have greater economic mobility; spend less on the combined expenses of housing and transportation; have more transportation options; and lead longer, healthier, safer lives.

"Smart growth strategies are about making life better for everyone in a community," said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. "If policymakers are looking for ways to lower costs for their constituents, improve public health and support their broader economy, they need to be thinking about how to improve their development."

See the full rankings and download the report at

The City of Madison is the capital and intellectual epicenter of the State of Wisconsin. Home to the University of Wisconsin, innovative technology companies, and a robust local food system, Madison blends the best of urban and rural environments and consistently ranks as one of the most livable places in the United States.

Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring better development to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit


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