A program to link transportation to land use planning results in projects that contribute to the revitalization of older communities and smart growth initiatives while reducing energy consumption. Recognition of the need for regional funding to support transit and transportation infrastructure leads to the creation of regional bodies to raise revenue and direct investments. At the same time, a statewide integrated water management program results in counties/regions implementing comprehensive water resource plans.


Infrastructure funding and policy priorities have a critical impact on how we grow. Decisions as to where we put water and sewer lines, roads, and schools, and how we pay for these needs play a big role in shaping our communities and the use of our natural resources.

For example, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania research has found that conflicts between Pennsylvania’s land use and sewage facilities laws, regulations and implementation practices inhibit meaningful consistency between sewage facilities and land use planning. As a result, sewage facilities can be permitted almost anywhere, and this conflict has helped foster sprawling development patterns in southeastern Pennsylvania in the 1990s.

The state must reinforce its revitalization efforts by linking them more directly to a vision of the state in the 21st century. It must more deeply integrate into funding and decision-making its own Keystone Principles, which more effectively ties infrastructure decisions to investment in existing communities and existing infrastructure. The state also must link transportation investment to land use planning, and rein in haphazard water and sewer implementation.

Our Infrastructure initiative is striving to encourage state, regional and local decision-makers to link their infrastructure investments (particularly, water and sewerage, and transportation) more directly with their growth goals. Existing laws and policies currently inhibit that linkage. Our research helps highlight that gap while we advocate for progressive policies of integration.