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Thread: Capitalization of smart growth, new urbanism, etc.

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Capitalization of smart growth, new urbanism, etc.

    I'm writing a style guide for my agency, with such goodies as ...

    Procedures
    Do not capitalize names of planning procedures such as preliminary plat, final plat, or plan amendment, unless when used as part of a development or project name.
    Staff recommends approval of the Preliminary Plat.
    Staff recommends approval of the preliminary plat.
    Staff recommends approval of Lakeview Subdivision Phase 2.

    utilize
    Legalese; avoid. Use use.
    Many times, when I see references to smart growth, new urbanism, or other new planning trends and practices, the words are capitalized. I tend not to capitalize them, since they're not proper nouns, and they don't fit the qualifications for capitalization that I've seen under the AP and Chicago stylebooks.

    Some clarification regarding the proper use of terms like smart growth/Smart Growth would be welcome.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    (for now) Frozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Some clarification regarding the proper use of terms like smart growth/Smart Growth would be welcome.
    1. If one uses the term(s) in a sentence referring to the theoretical concept, it should not be capitalized....

    But

    2. If one uses the term(s) when it is part of an official organization name, it should be capitalized


    Examples:

    1. I studied new urbanism in my Planning Theory class.

    2. I recently joined the Congress for the New Urbanism.


    That's how I look at it.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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