The National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education is a non-partisan center for research and education on smart growth, sustainability, and related land use issues -- national and international. The Center conducts research in five general areas: community development, international planning and urban management, land use, smart cities, and transportation.
The National Center for Smart Growth recently led the effort to create the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS), a campus-wide program that leverages the expertise and enginuity of University of Maryland students and faculty to tackle specific, sustainability-related issues facing Maryland’s diverse communities. The PALS mission is to provide high quality, low-cost assistance to local governments while creating an active and valuable real-world learning experience for UMD students. Launched in 2014 as a partnership with The City of Frederick, Maryland, PALS has collaborated with 20 individual communities, counties or departments, ranging from community partnership groups and cities to county and state level entities. The program has engaged nearly 2000 students and faculty to improve quality of life in Maryland through site-specific projects.