SAN DIEGO - The "smart growth" movement to curb suburban sprawl by refocusing on inner-city redevelopment has become an issue in some of the country's top political races - including the presidential one. But it is hardly a new one to community banks.

"Emerging neighborhoods in inner cities have always been the market of community banks," said Robert Lang, director of urban and metropolitan research at the Fannie Mae Foundation. "But now, since it's politically popular, everyone is for smart growth. Community banks are just happy that their work is being validated by the smart-growth movement."

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