For the results of the 2011 Saint Index©, please click here.


The Saint Index© — The Annual Measure of the Politics of Land Development

Why The Saint Index is important — and why now?

In the fourth quarter of 2005, The Saint Consulting Group conducted its first annual Saint Index, which for the first time ever quantified and tracked the politics of land use in the US. This survey spotlighted who actively opposed and supports real estate projects and why. It answered: Where is it most difficult to build today and why? How well is local government doing with planning and zoning? Which land uses experienced the most opposition and from whom?

In 2006, we conducted the first annual Saint Index for the United Kingdom, and in 2007 the first ever study of public attitudes toward real estate development projects across Canada.

Development of real property has become agonizingly tough. What started on both coasts of the US has spread throughout heartland America: population density, maturing markets, and intense competition are causing battle lines to be drawn in numerous wars over how cities and towns are being developed.

In the United Kingdom, development often faces even tougher public opposition than in the US, the Saint Index shows. Canadians oppose certain land uses more than Americans, but also show more support for other types of development.

The stakeholders in these battles over development include the businesses who must continue to find and build on new prime locations, residents who are standing up to fight to protect their neighborhoods, and elected officials and municipalities who are under conflicting pressures to increase tax revenues while protecting constituent neighborhoods.

The outcomes are determining which companies gain market share, who wins local elections, and what communities are going to look like into the future.

Because Saint Consulting is on the front lines of land-use battles across the US, UK and Canada, it has immediate perspective and information on the real estate scene, the implications of a strengthened economy, and the increasing need for a national statistical instrument to measure the impact of politics on land-use development.

The Saint Index survey will be conducted annually in the US, Canada and UK, allowing us to build a cumulative database that will identify and track trends over an extended period.

The intention of the Saint Index is to benefit companies that want to understand from where their active opposition is coming, and what they can do to get more projects approved. The Index will also benefit policy makers and planning officials who want to craft “smart growth” policies that meet the needs of their constituents and the economic development needs of their communities.

We welcome all inquiries from the media:

Patrick Fox
The Saint Consulting Group
Tel: 781.749.7290 ext. 7132