Maryland Census 2020: Challenges and Adaptations

Planning Assistance in Action

Planning Works to Assure a Complete Count Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

by Kristin R. Fleckenstein, Director of Public Affairs
with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

During these uncertain and unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) has found ways to adapt traditional, in-person census outreach efforts to engage the public and communities across the state. The goal of the 2020 Census is to ensure as complete a census count as possible of all Marylanders, while also recognizing the extraordinary circumstances of “stay-at-home” orders and social distancing and keeping Census workers, volunteers, and the public safe. Continue reading

MEMA: How the “Hurricane People” Are Supporting Maryland’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Planning Assistance in Action

by Kristen E. Humphrey, Local Assistance and Training Planner
with Kyle Overly, Director, Disaster Risk Reduction Directorate, MEMA

Typically, when we think of an organization like the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), we think of planning and coordinating the state’s preparedness and response to disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, terrorist attacks, and the resulting need for interim shelter, feeding, and medical treatment of those injured or displaced. However, MEMA is also the organization responsible for helping coordinate Maryland’s preparedness and response to other types of disasters, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Constance Lieder: A Pioneer in Maryland Planning

Women in Planning Series: Part II

by Chuck Boyd, Director, Planning Coordination
with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

If you have been a planner for a while, then you have likely worked on your share of comprehensive plans — especially if you have moved around a bit, as I have over the years. The first thing I always did when preparing to write a new comprehensive plan was to read the plan that came before it, to get the lay of the land of the community. Continue reading

New! Planning is Updating Our Statewide Land Use Map

Resources and Tools

by Deborah Sward, Assistant Manager, Geospatial Data & Analysis
with Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is initiating the 2020 update to its statewide Land Use Map, the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) product formerly known as the “Land Use Land Cover” map. The Land Use Map will show generalized locations of developed land, including varying densities of residential land and commercial, industrial, institutional, other developed, and undeveloped resource land uses. Continue reading

Commuter Choice Maryland: Smart Commuter Choices During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Resources and Tools

by Gladys Hurwitz, Multimodal Transportation Specialist, Maryland Department of Transportation, with Kristen E. Humphrey, Local Assistance and Training Planner

Have you heard of Commuter Choice Maryland?  If not, check it out! Commuter Choice Maryland is a program of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) designed to connect commuters and businesses to numerous online tools, resources, and opportunities. The goal of the program is to reduce congestion on Maryland roadways, improve air quality, and help Marylanders enhance their quality of life. Continue reading

Congratulations to David Cotton!

Planning in Progress

David Cotton,  ARC Program Manager and Director of Planning’s Western Maryland Regional Office, made the cover of the 16th edition of TrailGuide, the official, authorized guidebook for traveling the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath. David has been instrumental in the development of the Great Alleghany Passage in his official capacity with Planning, and is a bicycling enthusiast himself.

Way to go, Dave! Continue reading

Local Communities Seek New Ways to Respond to Hunger and Homelessness During the Pandemic

Planning in Progress

by Kristen Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

Even under normal circumstances, some of the most vulnerable people in our country’s population are those who are homeless and/or hungry. Without adequate shelter, sanitation, a stable supply of nutritious and fresh food, they are already subject to physical and mental illness, disease, exposure, malnutrition, and violence at much higher rates than the average American. But in times of a pandemic, these vulnerabilities worsen. Continue reading