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Maryland Gov. Urges Urban Living

July 7, 2000

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ Gov. Parris Glendening ``smart growth″ campaign to curb urban sprawl will get a national spotlight when he takes over next week as chairman of the National Governors Association.

Glendening, a Democrat who is a little more than one-third of the way through his last term as governor, is considered the national leader in the smart growth movement, which advocates the use of government money to preserve undeveloped land by steering growth into urban areas.

``This gives me a bully pulpit, a national opportunity to promote smart growth,″ he said in a recent interview. ``It will give me a chance to explain what Maryland has been doing. It will give me a chance to find out what other governors are doing.″

As chairman, Glendening will be the chief spokesman for the nation’s governors for a year, testifying before Congress, attending meetings and speaking to the national media. The position will give Glendening a national platform to promote himself and his ideas.

The association can play an influential role in setting national policy.

Three years ago, Maryland lawmakers approved Glendening’s landmark ``Smart Growth″ plan.

Smart growth policy says no public money should be used to promote development in areas not served by public water and sewer systems, roads and schools. Counties must submit development plans to the state; projects that fall outside those boundaries are ineligible for state assistance.

In the name of smart growth, Glendening has nixed plans for highways, including a long-sought connection to reduce traffic in the Washington area. He has steered development back to city centers.

He has also resolved along with the governors of neighboring states to curb urban sprawl around the Chesapeake Bay.

To some degree, chairmen of the governors association can mold the role to suit their purposes. When Jimmy Carter was governor of Georgia, he used the position to raise his profile and run for president.

Glendening will be elected to succeed Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt on Tuesday during a meeting in State College, Pa.

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