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This article explores the concept of smart growth, which promotes development in central city districts in an effort to reduce urban sprawl. Specifically, this feature discusses how smart growth is accomplished at all levels of the government, and contrasts top-down versus bottom-up land use control. In the past, local land use initiatives have been mostly unsuccessful at solving larger regional problems. Fears exist among scholars and politicians that federal or state land use legislation will fail to meet the specific individual needs of local governments. However, through the use of state created incentives and other programs, communities in New York are beginning to successfully cooperate and develop in a more responsible and sustainable manner.