WalkWicomico Puts Planning on its Feet

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Planning Assistance in Action

Bipedalism (the ability to walk on two feet) is a core, if not the core, human characteristic. It allowed us to carry supplies and loved ones, and honed our hunting abilities. Millenia of community construction unfolded along the path of our feet, and this influence persists. Walkability is a common term in a planner’s vocabulary, an oft-cited goal in comprehensive plans, and a physical aspect of our communities attracting local families and tourists to Maryland’s streamside paths and main streets. We are comfortable addressing walkability objectives using design, land use, and infrastructure. Complete streets and shorter blocks draw pedestrians into engaging strolls along the sidewalk. An integrated mix of residential, commercial, employment, and entertainment uses make that short walk much more appealing, not to mention convenient. Traffic calming measures and pedestrian-centric intersections mute the threat posed by person and vehicle interaction. These are and will remain proven and effective planning strategies enhancing walkability. But what if the people never show up? What good is a wide sidewalk, or even better, one with outdoor seating at your favorite restaurant on a bright spring afternoon, if no one is there to use it? Planners can’t neglect the biggest part of the walkability equation – the walkers. More

A Better Maryland Initiates Second Round of Community Outreach

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Planning Assistance in Action

Following a summer of analysis and collaboration with our partners, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is once again set to traverse the state’s communities and continue the dialogue about A Better Maryland, the new state development plan. The outpouring of community engagement during the first round of 72 listening sessions was exhilarating. Thousands of Marylanders contributed feedback at public meetings and online. We received over 1,700 comments ranging in topics from infrastructure to housing! You can find them on our What We’ve Heard page.

Two overarching topics stood out. Reviewing the comments and the survey responses, it became clear that the environment and economic development form the core of what Marylanders want a state development plan to address. More

A Better Maryland Listening Sessions Drawing to a Close

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Planning Assistance in Action

21 out of 24. In the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournament, that equates to an excellent free throw percentage. It could also represent the number of daffodils blooming in your garden this spring. But at the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), it signifies the counties Planning has visited in its first round of listening sessions for the new A Better Maryland state deveopment plan. 21 out of 24 counties and Baltimore City. Talk about statewide coverage…
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A Better Maryland Reaches Milestone, but the Conversation Continues

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Planning Assistance in Action

Explaining A Better Maryland in Queen Anne’s County

On February 15, at the Wharves of Choptank Visitor Center in Denton, A Better Maryland passed the halfway point in its initial outreach period. The Caroline County listening sessions marked the 13th of 24 (all 23 counties and Baltimore City) engagement events that the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is conducting through early spring. The purpose of the sessions is to discover how officials, staff, and members of the community think A Better Maryland, the new state development plan, can best assist them in advancing local planning, economic, and community development objectives. More

2018 is a Significant Year for Statewide Planning

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Planning Assistance in Action

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) isn’t the only state agency engaged in a statewide planning effort. In addition to the Maryland Department of Transportation’s 2040 Maryland Transportation Plan, the Maryland Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) Office of Military and Federal Affairs (OMFA) is also conducting a Statewide Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) that will include a survey as a part of an outreach effort to get the feedback of the local communities and installations and state agency reps. A JLUS is a cooperative planning effort between active military installations and their surrounding local and state jurisdictions and other affected stakeholders. The Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment oversees and funds the larger program, designed as a tool promoting compatible land use and base activity. More

Reblog: A Better Maryland Kicks off with Listening Sessions in Garrett County

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Planning Assistance in Action

Outreach for A Better Maryland kicked off with enthusiasm in Garrett County on Monday, November 6. Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters, Acting Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) Rob McCord, Assistant Secretary of Planning Services Pat Keller, and Director of Planning Coordination Chuck Boyd, who is also the Project Manager for A Better Maryland, visited local county and municipal community leaders in the county government offices in Oakland and at Garrett College. Visit A Better Maryland blog for full article… More

Join the Maryland Department of Planning in Developing A Better Maryland

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Planning Assistance in Action

The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) wants to hear from you about the new State Development Plan, A Better Maryland. When we say “you,” we mean “you.” In a series of 24 Listening Session events (local staff, elected officials, and the public) in every Maryland County and Baltimore City over the winter and early spring of 2017-18, Planning will be coming to your area. We encourage everyone interested in fostering good planning, enhancing our quality of life, ensuring responsible growth, and protecting our resources to join us for a statewide dialogue. More

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