Maryland

Making Complete Streets real in Maryland

Maryland local leaders participate in a walking tour to learn about Complete Streets in Mt. Rainier, MDMaryland local leaders participate in a walking tour to learn about Complete Streets in Mt. Rainier, MD.

Maryland members of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council met last Thursday for a workshop titled “Making Complete Streets Real,” sponsored by Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland. Councilmember Brent Bolin hosted the event at the Mount Rainer City Hall and gave an insider’s tour of local smart growth initiatives after the workshop.

Many of the leaders who attended the workshop are currently developing new Complete Streets policies, and the conversation focused heavily on how to move from policy adoption to effective implementation and talking publicly about the value of this work. Former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening noted, “It is important to make clear how Complete Streets relate to larger and deeper community goals.”

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West Baltimore, MD hosts workshop on preparing for the Red Line and future transit-oriented development

harlem-parkWest Baltimore could see a lot of changes with the proposed Red Line stations. Harlem Park station model via baltimoreredline.com

A new transit line is slated to be built in West Baltimore, MD, and on March 15, 2014 Smart Growth America met with West Baltimore leaders to discuss how the community can make the most of this new neighborhood asset.

The March 15 workshop was designed to help West Baltimore plan for better development around several proposed Red Line stations. At the meeting public officials presented on programs targeted to address the existing challenges residents see in the neighborhood. Much of the discussion centered on how to attract development to the corridor in conjunction with the planned Red Line stations, as well as how to ensure that development is equitable, and serves the neighborhood’s current residents as well as the community’s broader needs.

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Mayor Gee Williams on why Berlin, MD is the coolest small town in America

berlin-mdDowntown Berlin, MD is a National Register Historic District. Photo courtesy of Berlin Main Street.

In February, Berlin, MD (population 4,500) won the title of “Coolest Small Town in America” from Budget Travel. Mayor Gee Williams sees smart growth as part of why Berlin won the honor.

“We are proud of our 19th century charm, but we are a 21st century community,” explains Mayor Williams, a member of the Maryland Chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. Berlin’s historic downtown is a National Register Historic District, boasting 47 structures on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Mayor David Gysberts brings a hardworking attitude to revitalizing downtown Hagerstown, MD

Downtown Hagerstown, MD. Photo by Mr. T in DC via Flickr.Downtown Hagerstown, MD. Photo by Mr. T in DC via Flickr.

David Gysberts, Mayor of Hagerstown, MD, and an Advisory Board member of the Maryland Chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is looking to revitalize downtown Hagerstown while preserving its historic character.

“Hagerstown used to be a huge manufacturing town. You name it, we made it,” says Mayor Gysberts. “We still have that hardworking attitude coming from our history of being the home of entrepreneurs and industry.” Mayor Gysberts brings that attitude to Hagerstown’s revitalization efforts, working to reduce commercial and residential vacancies and promote homeownership in the city center.

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Local Leaders Council members in Maryland meet to learn and share ideas for building community support

Maryland local leaders gather for a "Communicating Smart Growth" workshop on February 6, 2014.Local Leaders Council members in Maryland gather for a workshop on February 6, 2014.

Maryland county and city officials and staff met on February 6, 2014 for a half-day workshop designed for members of the Local Leaders Council and co-sponsored by Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland.

The workshop provided participants with the opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences building community support for smart growth initiatives. Participants discussed the values that resonate in their communities, from economic prosperity and fiscal responsibility to environmental stewardship and quality of life.

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Jake Day on partnerships and community support in Salisbury, MD

salisbury-mdPlaza in Downtown Salisbury, MD. Photo by Ed LeCompte via Flickr.

As the “Hub of Delmarva,” Salisbury, MD is the largest city on the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia peninsula. With a population just over 30,000, Salisbury serves as the commercial, transportation, media and employment hub of the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Jake Day, City Council President since April 2013 and Advisory Board member for the Maryland Chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is looking to reverse decades of disinvestment in Salisbury’s core.

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Councilmember Chris Trumbauer on balancing growth and the environment in Annapolis, MD

Annapolis, MD waterfront.
Annapolis, MD’s waterfront. Photo by JP via Flickr.

Anne Arundel County, MD is a county of 540,000 residents situated between Washington, DC and the Chesapeake Bay. Chris Trumbauer, County Councilmember for Anne Arundel County and Chair of the Advisory Board for the new Maryland Chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is working to accommodate new development in Anne Arundel County while protecting the natural beauty and resources of the Chesapeake Bay region.

“The Annapolis area has a unique sense of place,” Trumbauer explains. “It has 300 years of history, a connection to the Chesapeake Bay and is Maryland’s capital city. Anne Arundel County has 500 miles of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay, and while there is a lot of development pressure there is also a lot of affinity for environmental issues. It is a vibrant community and I would like to keep it that way.”

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Maryland leaders meet to form the first state chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council

llc-md-chapter
Maryland leaders met at the state capitol to discuss the Maryland Chapter of the Local Leaders Council.

Elected officials from towns and counties across Maryland gathered in Annapolis on November 8, 2013 for the first Advisory Board meeting of the Maryland chapter of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. The Council’s Maryland chapter, a joint effort of Smart Growth America and 1000 Friends of Maryland, will foster collaboration among leaders in Maryland and promote state-wide smart growth issues.

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