Sustainable Communities: An Intergovernmental Collaboration

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Planning Assistance in Action

As part of a larger effort to decrease the amount of vacant and underutilized space within its downtown, in 2014 one Maryland municipality implemented a Central Business District Façade Program. This program, combined with enhanced marketing, a small business outreach program, and design funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, led to improvements in the appeal, marketability, and aesthetics of a historic downtown and prompted new commercial lease signings. Another Maryland community leveraged over $800,000 in targeted state financing assistance to acquire and demolish eight blighted buildings and remediate hazardous material in a ninth. The dedicated collaboration of jurisdictions, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) realized these stories of community revitalization success through the application of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities Program. More

Meet the Planning Staff: Michael Bayer

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Michael Bayer joined the Maryland Department of Planning in November as the Manager of Infrastructure and Development. More

The Maryland Department of Planning’s Geospatial and Data Analysis Unit Communicates Spatially

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Resources and Tools

Sometimes a concept or trend just needs to be expressed visually. In response to this, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is fluent in the language of spatial analysis and representation. The goal of planning is to nurture and inform, and to play a vital partnership role alongside the diverse and numerous interests, stakeholders, and dynamics that influence our ever-changing society and communities. To maintain the highest-level of quality in our responses to the planning needs of Maryland, Planning employs a talented group of spatial technology professionals who share a mission to provide the department, our various public and private partners, and our citizens with data, analysis, and resources that are accurate and precise. This team of geospatial experts, with an extensive background in geospatial analysis, cartography, data modeling and management, and application development comprises Planning’s Geospatial and Data Analysis Unit (GDA). More

Meet the Planning Staff: Karen Mierow

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Karen Mierow is the Maryland Department of Planning’s newest regional planner for Southern Maryland.  She provides local planning assistance and education coordination to Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties as well as overall support to the department Local Assistance and Training Division. More

The Maryland Department of Planning Assists the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with the Environmental Public Health Tracking Tool

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Resources and Tools

Planning is a highly interdisciplinary activity for any local or state government, incorporating land use, environmental protection, transportation, housing, economic development, and much more. An often-overlooked responsibility is advancing public health. Preserving green space, developing parks and other recreational facilities, connecting walkable and bikeable transportation networks, and ensuring the quality of Maryland’s air and water are just a few of the ways in which planners can promote healthy and vibrant communities.  Considered from another perspective, this might be planning’s most significant role. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) recently developed the Environmental Public Health Tracking Tool (MDEPHT) to promote the health of Maryland citizens and jurisdictions as they consider the future of their communities. The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is leveraging the extensive work completed by DHMH to advocate that the MDEPHT be used as an information resource for local governments during their planning efforts. More

The Maryland Planning Commissioners Association Wants to Hear from the Planning Community

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Planning Assistance in Action

The State of Maryland is famous for its forward-thinking planning and integrated community of professional and citizen planners. Dating back multiple decades, state leaders have worked tirelessly to preserve and build upon the Maryland we all cherish. One of the essential means to accomplish this is through outreach and education. Communities best understand the assets that they can build upon, the barriers that must be overcome, and the assistance needed to meet their goals and objectives. This is an essential reality of good planning practice, and one the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) is embracing with an outreach project in the Summer of 2017. More

The Maryland Department of Planning Teams up with the Appalachian Regional Commission

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Planning Assistance in Action

ARCFor most Maryland residents, access to a reliable broadband network is a given; a bill we pay every month, but a readily available service when we need to connect to our work email, search for a new restaurant, or find driving directions. For some parts of Western Maryland though, this is not always so certain, as the secluded location and rugged geography make the extension of network infrastructure expensive and difficult. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) and the Allegany Board of Commissioners, helped overcome this barrier in Allegany County by providing the funding to strengthen the area’s broadband network and improve services to residents, businesses, and emergency services. More

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