Brevard Tomorrow Promotes Smart Growth

Brevard TomorrowBrevard Tomorrow is a community-driven initiative focused on creating a preferred future for Brevard County. This task takes solid direction, and here’s ours: We aim to bring diverse groups from around the county together to collaborate, communicate and proactively carry out initiatives that will protect and enhance the quality of life for all our residents. Simply put, we are people who want a strong community, now and forever, through qualities like top-notch education, a sound economy, and safe, scenic streets.

One of Brevard Tomorrow’s core focus is Smart Growth. Managed growth, growing well, growth best practices, smart growth… what does it all mean?

Residents of Brevard County can anticipate additional growth in the years to come. As is typical in most communities, a majority of Brevard’s citizens believe that growth is inevitable, and that methods such as Smart Growth can be implemented to direct growth in a controllable way.

A dedicated group of volunteers, acting as the Brevard Tomorrow Land Use & Growth project team, have worked to define principles, or goals, of Smart Growth specific to our community. These volunteers represent business, education, agriculture, government, citizens, the space industry, the environmental community and builders and developers. They brought together diverse views that culminated in an understanding of each other’s concerns as they worked to develop these goals. The volunteers have created a framework for encouraging development in the county at a rate and in a manner that results in a positive lifestyle for all of Brevard’s citizens. They have worked to answer the basic question: How should we grow?

Brevard TomorrowBrevard Tomorrow has developed a draft of these Goals and Strategies — the “Getting to Smart Growth in Brevard County” report.

PennDesign Team Tours Brevard
by Shelley Lauten Project Coordinator, My
(Source: Brevard Tomorrow March 2005 Newsletter)

The University of Pennsylvania Planning Department, Professor Jonathan Barnett is currently creating a Smart Growth Plan for the seven county Central Florida region for 2025 and 2050. They are receiving input from experts throughout the region as they look at current growth and development in the region.

Thanks to the efforts of Kristin Bakke, President and CEO of Leadership Brevard, the day of study in Brevard County was an insightful and thorough overview of the economic opportunities and challenges, environmental issues and growth challenges being recognized and addressed by the leaders and citizens of Brevard County.

Our visitors from Penn quickly saw the full length of this 72-mile long County, when we were greeted by Commissioner Sue Carlson, who hosted the team on an hour long helicopter tour of Brevard—seeing the incredible growth in Melbourne-Palm Bay to the south, assessing the beach erosion caused by the hurricanes over on the beachside, all the way to Port Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center in the northern parts of county.

Commissioner Carlson and Ms Bakke then traveled with the group to Canaveral Port Authority , where Stan Payne gave an in-depth briefing on the challenges and opportunities facing “Orlando’s Port”.

We then traveled to the corporate headquarters of the Harris Corporation, where Nick Heldreth, Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs hosted us for lunch and provided his insight into the economic vitality of the county, and an overview of how Harris has grown over the years.

We were joined at lunch by Jim Fletcher and Mario Busacca who have led the Smart Growth committee for Brevard Tomorrow. They reviewed the incredible work done by this committee and Professor Barnett stated it was some of the best work on smart growth principles he had ever seen!

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”-Anthony D’Angelo

Brevard Tomorrow is actively working to define what smart growth means for Brevard. With rapid growth, we, as a community need to come together and resolve to preserve what makes the Space Coast so unique. As PennDesign collaborates with so many in our region, we need to be both aware of their efforts, and be a part of the effort.

Join us for the next Land Use & Growth Meeting at the Agriculture Center, 3695 Lake Drive, Cocoa

View the ‘Getting to Smart Growth’ brochure at under ‘core documents’