The Santa Barbara metropolitan area was ranked second for all small cities in terms of “anti-sprawl” by a national organization advocating for “smart growth” planning policies and was ranked fourth for cities of all sizes. Santa Barbara’s rankings were released by Smart Growth America, a Washington, D.C.–based institute, based on planning policies designed to promote housing density around a well-defined urban core and multiple transportation options. The group, which judged 232 metropolitan areas, contends compact and well-connected urban areas provide greater economic opportunities and that residents live longer, healthier lives. In both categories, the city immediately ahead of Santa Barbara was Atlantic City and immediately behind was Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.


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