by Victoria Olivier, AICP, Regional Planner and Kristen Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
Urban renewal, migration from our towns and smaller cities to larger, more metropolitan areas, and attendant growth of suburbs, have created the now familiar contours of disinvestment, abandonment, and decay in towns across the U.S. This trend began as a result of rapid industrialization in the face of two World Wars, accelerating by the mid-20th century, and in some areas continues to this day.
Thus, when urban renewal resulted in tearing down entire blocks within town centers, and shopping centers were luring both stores and shoppers to follow them to the suburbs, it began to look as though small towns would simply fade away. The downward slide of traditional town centers was gradual but steady, and town leaders had little information about how to fight back.
by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
To read about Jane Dembner, having never had the opportunity to meet her, is to read about a planner who was, like so many we have featured in this series, passionate about what she did, persistent in her goals, and unwavering in her ideals. She has been described by her family and peers as driven, determined, a leader in the community, “intellectually curious and a proactive problem solver,”[i] and “an intrepid innovator.”[ii]
By Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
With an already storied career as an attorney and principal in a prestigious law firm, Elizabeth (Betty) M. Hewlett broke new ground when she was appointed to her first term as Chairman of Prince George’s County Planning Board from 1995 to 2006. As the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity – in both an organization and a profession which, up to that time, was largely dominated by white men – Hewlett, now in her second term (2011-present), is responsible for leading one of the nation’s premier parks and planning organizations.
by Daniel Rosen, AICP, Resource Conservation Plannerwith Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
It is fitting that yet another of the planners we have been asked by readers to profile in this series on female planners in Maryland, also served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Planning.
Harriet Tregoning was appointed in 2000, and later became Maryland’s first Special Secretary for Smart Growth. One of the accomplishments of her tenure involved siting a new branch of the University of Maryland in Washington County.
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 →