October 27, 2011
Housing, PlanMaryland, Planning, Population, Smart Growth
Chesapeake Bay, Development plan, governor o'malley, martin o'malley, Maryland, maryland department of planning, maryland general assembly, planmaryland, smart growth, sustainability, urban planning
Govenor O'Malley at PlanMaryland forum
Governor O’Malley discussed PlanMaryland with The Atlantic Cities blog, which describes itself as exploring ”the most innovative ideas and pressing issues facing today’s global cities and neighborhoods.” A sample from today’s interview:
PlanMaryland isn’t something we’re doing for current residents. PlanMaryland is something we’re doing for our children. If 40 years ago we had actually implemented a statewide development plan, you might have a very different state now. You’d have a very different Baltimore city right now. You’d have a Chesapeake Bay that’s not fighting for her health year after year. This is something we have to do in order for our kids to be able to enjoy a quality of life here, and be part of this living system called the Chesapeake Bay.
Read more of Eric Jaffe’s interview.
September 12, 2011
Housing, Land Use, Smart Growth, State Growth Plan, Transportation
abel wolman, Development plan, Government, Land use, martin o'malley, Maryland, smart growth, Sustainable development
PlanMaryland Revised Draft
Nearly four decades ago, the General Assembly passed a law calling for the creation of a State Development Plan for Maryland. The Land Use Act of 1974 directed the Department of Planning to “prepare the Plan to promote the general welfare and prosperity of the people of the State through coordinated development of the State.” It prescribed a broad framework for what the plan should include — “studies of governmental, economic, physical and social conditions and trends” – and how the Department should undertake the process.
Concern for the impact of development on the state’s quality of life and environment long predated the 1970s law. Much earlier, the Maryland Planning Commission, one of the first such bodies in the nation, expressed concern about “miserable ‘string-town’ trends that are the result of lack of control. Up to 1900, we find a solid, slow growth within city limits, then a veritable explosion of population as the automobile brought decentralization and the urge to move to the country. Only the ‘country’ in this case has been a sad disillusionment for many.”
That was written in 1938 by the group as chaired by Abel Wolman, a brilliant engineer and inventor known as the father of modern sanitary engineering. In the decades that followed, Maryland has had many nationally recognized smart growth successes at the State and local levels, from gains in bay restoration to agricultural preservation to neighborhood revitalization. But despite the foresight demonstrated by Wolman and many others since, symptoms of the problem of sprawling land use have continued. More