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Home Western Issues Growth

Western Issues: Growth

The West that we love is at a crossroads, and the choices we make will shape its future—our future—for generations to come. One of the key challenges we face is how communities will grow in the future. The next wave of growth and change is just around the corner. This time, we have the choice to move beyond poorly planned development and to build neighborhoods that have more housing and transportation choices, that are located closer to city and town centers, and that provide greater convenience for residents and financial benefits for communities.

Check out our resource areas on how we are helping local leaders build successful communities in the West.

Community Builders logo for webCommunity Builders Network

Initiated in 2013, Community Builders helps local leaders build successful communities in the American West. Communities with strong and diverse economies, quality growth, vibrant downtowns, and complete neighborhoods.

Check us out at


WLAC Wtagline Blue web 227pxWestern Lands & Communities 
A Lincoln Institute of Land Policy – Sonoran Institute Joint Venture

This partnership engages in projects that broaden the information and policy options for improving land conservation, planning and urban form in the West, and it promotes development that conserves land, minimizes impacts to the environment, and uses best practices for community planning and design. 

Learn more about our Western Lands & Communities initiatives

SCOTie Main Logo - for webSCOTie
Successful Communities Online Toolkit Information Exchange

Founded by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Sonoran Institute, the Successful Communities Online Toolkit information exchange (SCOTie) is a valuable source of best practices and resources from model western communities created by Western Lands and Communities.

Visit SCOtie today to learn more

Additional Community Growth & Change R

The Sonoran Institute conducts ongoing research on topics such as: growth impacts; the changing Western economy; land-use policy; and the changing role of public lands.

Check out our Library to access our research reports.

Building From the Best - NR - Cover photo - for webThe Institute’s Building from the Best projects promote and recognize quality design and development that respect community character and the environment.Click below to view and download Building from the Best reports:

Building from the Best - Northern Rockies (2007)

Building from the Best - Tucson, Arizona