Planning Practice Monthly Launches New “Women in Planning Series” as part of Maryland’s 2020 Year of the Woman

Seeking Suggestions: Women in Planning

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

Did you know that March is National Women’s History Month? Additionally, Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed 2020 as the Year of the Woman in Maryland, in advance of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Numerous events, exhibits, and tours of historic sites related to women’s suffrage are slated  occur throughout the state, culminating in the 2020 Women’s Centennial Summit scheduled for August in Annapolis. While the fate of some of the planned events may be uncertain, given the COVID-19 pandemic, Planning will continue to celebrate the contributions of women planners digitally. Continue reading

Re-Blog: Designation of The Olmsted Conference Room by Ed Orser

By Ed Orser, Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes

Maryland’s State Department of Planning has designated the meeting space in its Baltimore office headquarters as “The Olmsted Conference Room” in recognition of the major role of the Olmsted firm in planning initiatives for parks, residential communities, and other sites in Baltimore and elsewhere in the state. A large introductory panel on the “Olmsted Legacy” identifies the three Olmsteds who for more than 75 years played an important role in Maryland and in nearby D.C.: Frederick Law Olmsted (FLO), John Olmsted, and Frederick Law Olmsted, Junior (FLO Junior).

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Planning staff, Steve Allan and John Coleman review the panel for the 1908 plan.

Panels on the extensive Baltimore projects make the case that in few American cities was the Olmsted planning impact greater—with comprehensive planning for parks, residential communities, and urban amenities. The parks panel highlights FLO’s 1876 design for the grounds of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Place (supplanted by Beaux Arts-inspired features). But the later role of the Olmsted Brothers, especially FLO Junior, in park planning proved more extensive and of longer duration. The firm’s 1904 comprehensive plan for Baltimore’s parks laid the basis for the modern park system. In 2016 the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes and others succeeded in gaining the City’s historic designation for an East-West corridor of “Olmsted Parkways,” first envisioned in the 1904 plan. Continue reading

Interview with Jamie Williams: Economic Development Coordinator for Kent County

Local Spotlight

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Jamie Williams

Chestertown, founded in 1706, is the county seat of Kent. The Town flourished in the 18th century, serving as a major port for both exporting Maryland’s agricultural products and importing exotic wares from the West Indies and Europe. In an age when overland travel proved difficult and dangerous, Kent County served as a popular stopping point for people navigating between Philadelphia and Virginia via waterways. While Chestertown’s economy stagnated slightly following the revolution, by the 19th century, the construction of the still standing courthouse and the arrival of a railroad line signaled a new era; the population doubling by 1900. Continue reading

Article: Planning working with Statewide Planning Commissioners to Reinvent an Effective Association

In a July 17th article in Maryland Matters, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association’s (MPCA) Outreach Project was highlighted. This project is an effort to listen to stakeholders so that Maryland’s planning community can best meet the needs of local jurisdictions. The MPCA is a statewide, nonprofit educational organization of municipal, county and regional planning commissioners and boards of zoning appeals members.

MPCA members work to improve the quality of life for all Marylanders through planning, environmental protection, historic preservation, and growth management. Continue reading

Citizen Planners Meet to Discuss Barriers, Issues Facing the Planning Community

David Jenkins and Carolyn McHugh attended the June 20 Focus Group, a part of the MPCA Outreach Project.

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association’s (MPCA) Outreach project is off to a hot start this summer. With two focus group meetings in the books and five to go, members of Maryland’s planning community are embracing the effort and expressing their opinions. The MPCA hosted the first meeting in Calvert County and the local press took notice.

“We are here to listen,” said Robert Reed, a long-term member of Calvert County’s planning commission and president of the state planning commissioners association that is behind the outreach project.

Continue reading