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Makeover Montgomery

Note: This informative and successful event occurred in 2011. Interested in Makeover Montgomery 2014? See our 2014 event info here.

Throughout the country, suburban planners are grappling with how to handle pressures to adapt to demographic shifts, changing housing preferences, and growing infrastructure costs – all while making their communities more sustainable.

Durango Maine AvePlanners and smart growth experts will present at Makeover Montgomery: Innovative Strategies for Rethinking America's Suburbs, April 14-16. Continuing education credits for professional planners (AICP-CM) have been approved for most sessions.

The conference will open at the University of Maryland-College Park on April 14 and take place in Silver Spring on April 15 and 16. Registration is now closed. Download directions.

Conference Details

The National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, the Montgomery County Planning Department and the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland, are co-hosting Makeover Montgomery.

Silver Spring, an inner-ring suburb in Montgomery County, boasts a newly rejuvenated, nationally recognized center and will be a model for a rewrite of the county's zoning code.

View a conference recap in this excerpt from the Montgomery Plans cable show.



Downloadable version (pdf, 276KB)

Note: This informative and successful event occurred in 2011. Interested in Makeover Montgomery 2014? See our 2014 event info here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

@ the University of Maryland, College Park
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation Auditorium
Tim Chapin Florida State University
Patrick Doherty New America Foundation
Isabelle Gournay University of Maryland
Planned Suburban Communities: Historical Benchmarks (4.8 MB)
Galina Tachieva DPZ and the Sprawl Repair Manual
Ronald Utt The Heritage Foundation

Jim Cohen University of Maryland
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation Auditorium
The conference keynote address by USC demographer Dowell Myers will highlight demographic trends in suburbs across the United States.  Laying the groundwork for the remainder of the conference, Myers will discuss the impact these trends could have on the future of America’s suburbs.  His presentation will highlight the great demographic turning point that is expected to reshape suburban demand in the post-recession era. Immigrants and aging Baby Boomers are the two great drivers that make aggregate consumer preferences in the coming decade so very different from the past. Political expectations based on past trends have rarely been so poor a guide for future development. Myers will portray a potential new future, based on changing demographics, that is now coming into view.  CM 1.5

Dowell Myers University of Southern California
Demographic Trends Shaping Future Housing and Land Use (2 MB)

Friday, April 15, 2011           

@ the Silver Spring Civic Building
8:30 am – 9:00 am

Great Hall
Richard E. Hall Maryland Department of Planning

Hans Riemer Montgomery County Council
9:00 am – 10:30 am

Great Hall
Sprawl has come to define the urban form of the latter half of the 20th century and continues to be the dominant form of new development despite calls to shift to more sustainable development practices.  This session provides an overview of planning tools and strategies that can be used to foster changes to this pattern and redirect growth to strategic areas identified for redevelopment. Strategies for a range of spatial scales will be offered and a major local case study will be highlighted.CM 1.5
Evan Goldman Federal Realty Investment Trust
The White Flint Sector Plan: Creating a New Downtown in Montgomery County(7.5 MB)
Galina Tachieva DPZ and the Sprawl Repair Manual
Sprawl Repair: A Comprehensive Method(14 MB)
Emily Talen Arizona State University
Sprawl Retrofit: Sustainable Urban Form in Unsustainable Places (6 MB)

Spring Room
Poorly connected transportation networks and a general lack of mode choices have combined to make automobile use and, increasingly, congestion ubiquitous in the suburbs.  This session will highlight affordable fixes to the transportation system that may significantly change suburban travel choices and alleviate congestion.  Presentations will highlight circulator bus systems, Bus Rapid Transit networks, and increasing connectivity of all modes of travel.  CM 1.5
Lora Byala Foursquare Integrated Transportation Planning
Fred Fravel KFH Group
Connecting Key Activity Centers with High Quality Bus Service (1.2 MB)
Jim Charlier Charlier Associates, Inc.
Practical Connectivity Repair (20 MB)
Wes Guckert The Traffic Group, Inc.
Median Bus Rapid Transit – High Value at Affordable Cost (3 MB)

10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Ellsworth Room
Fairly or unfairly, zoning and related public policies have been blamed for much of the sprawl of the latter half of the 20th century.  This session considers opportunities to change zoning policies to create more sustainable communities.  A diverse array of topics will be covered including the LEED®-ND system’s model zoning overlay, how to do planned retrofitting of new developments to make redevelopment easier, and how large community uses such as mega-churches can be located and designed in more sustainable ways.  CM 1.5
Eliot Allen Criterion Planners
LEED®-ND Zoning for Accelerating Sustainable Development (3.2 MB)
Katherine Nelson Montgomery County Planning Department
Land Use Policies for the Megachurch Phenomenon (5.3 MB)
Lee Sobel U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Planned Retrofitting - It's Never Too Late To Start! (4.3 MB)

Spring Room
Sustainability, allowing the current generation to meet its needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same, is continuing to play a greater role in shaping planning policy.  But is the notion of a sustainable suburb an oxymoron?  In this first session on the topic, attendees will hear ideas on how LEED®-ND can address this question, how to implement sustainable solutions for the suburbs during an economic downturn, and empirical evidence on whether urban form really does encourage more physically active and greener forms of transportation.  CM 1.5
William Grimm Groundworks Studio
Transformative Planning: Pathways to Sustainable Future
Sophie Lambert U.S. Green Building Council
LEED® for Neighborhood Development: A Tool to Retrofit the Suburbs (9 MB)
Daniel A. Rodríguez University of North Carolina
The Built Environment and its Association with Walking and Physical Activity in Montgomery County, Maryland (1 MB)

Great Hall
Arterial corridors lined with commercial shopping centers are a symbol of suburbia and also a prime target for many suburban redevelopment plans.  But are these schemes realistic?  Speakers will discuss the key challenges to redeveloping suburban corridors, from citizen opposition to design issues to market viability, and how they can be overcome.  CM 1.5
Dena Belzer Strategic Economics
Implementation Strategies for Revitalizing Arterial Corridors (1.7 MB)
Stuart Sirota TND Planning Group
Transforming Commuter Corridors and Crossroads into Sustainable Places
Yolanda Takesian Kittelson and Associates, Inc.
New Transportation Thinking for Livable Corridors

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm LUNCH BREAK
We encourage you to visit one of the many fine establishments located throughout downtown Silver Spring, all within walking distance of the Silver Spring Civic Building.
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Great Hall
Infill development of townhomes and other dense housing types on small sites within established single-family neighborhoods is both a design and policy challenge.  This session provides examples of how cities with as divergent planning perspectives as Portland, OR and Houston, TX have accommodated these forms of housing in close proximity to existing low-density units.  Presentations will cover the design, policy approaches, and market demand for this form of redevelopment.  CM 1.5
Bill Cunningham Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Innovative Infill Design Strategies:  Lessons from Portland, Oregon (10 MB)
Deni Poletti CORE Architects
Filling the Gap - The Design, Economics & Regulation of Infill Buildings (4 MB)
Barbara Tennant Tennant Design, LLC
The Role for Infill Townhomes in Suburban Densification: Evidence from Houston, Texas (21 MB)

Spring Room
The mixed-use pedestrian-friendly town center has come to represent the new suburban alternative to “placeless” commercial suburban strip development.  Speakers in this session will review the track record of this development type and offer recommendations on how to plan for their successful implementation both on greenfields and as part of major redevelopment schemes.  CM 1.5
Uri Avin Parsons Brinckerhoff
Tysons Corner Revisited (3 MB)
Tim Chapin Florida State University
The “Town Center” Model of Suburban Placemaking: Opportunities and Challenges (2.3 MB)
Neal I. Payton Torti Gallas and Partners, Inc.
How to Retrofit Your Suburban Arterial Highway into a Town Center in 7 (or so) Steps (7.5 MB)

3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

Great Hall
Large-scale infill projects in the suburbs offer the opportunity for transformative changes and serve as a catalyst for subsequent redevelopment.  This session will focus on large-scale infill projects such as suburban high-rises and redevelopment of older garden apartment complexes.  The market demand for these forms of infill development and their impact on regional affordable housing supply will be discussed.CM 1.5
Mir Ali University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Kheir Al-Kodmany University of Illinois Chicago
Asli Ceylan Oner Florida Atlantic University
The Growth of High-rise Buildings in U.S. Suburbs: Will Suburban Tall Promote Sustainable Development? (8.5 MB)
Matt Hopkins streetsense
Infill with What? or Why You Can't Buy a Green Building on Amazon (20 MB)
Rolf Pendall The Urban Institute
1970s Apartment Neighborhoods: Opportunities and Threats for Sustainable Metropolitan Transformations (3 MB)

Spring Room
This session builds on the first session on sustainability by exploring new models for retrofitting suburbia.  Examples of sustainable suburban retrofitting will be offered from the East and West coasts.  Research will be presented comparing how more sustainable mixed-use commercial districts have fared relative to more traditional suburban shopping centers and strip malls.CM 1.5
Reza Banai University of Memphis
Sustainability of Suburban Retailing: Commercial Nodes and Ribbons in the 21st Century (2 MB)
Chip Crawford HOK Planning Group
The Land Use Paradigm – A Living Systems Tool (28 MB)
Peg Staeheli SvR Design Company
Amalia Leighton SvR Design Company
What is a Suburb?  Retrofitting Suburban Land Use Within and Around Cities (8.5 MB)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

@ the Silver Spring Civic Building
8:30 am – 9:00 am LIGHT BREAKFAST
9:00 am – 10:30 am

Fenton Room
Addressing community concerns over changes to the character of the place where people live, work, worship and/or play is a critical component to successful suburban redevelopment. This session provides real-life, tangible examples of how engaging the community early and often creates more vibrant and lively places.CM 1.5
Jewru Bandeh Silver Spring Regional Center
Regional Centers: A Model for Community Engagement (130 KB)
Gus Bauman Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; Formerly, Montgomery County Planning Board
How We Ended the “Silver Spring War” with a Vision, a Plan, and Persistent Implementation (400 KB)
Francine Waters Lerner Enterprises and the White Flint Partnership
Using Social Media & Grassroots Outreach to Engage the Community in the Approval of a New Sustainable City (5.8 MB)

Great Hall
The best suburban redevelopment plans may never be realized if market forces and developer profitability are not adequate.  This session offers the development community’s perspectives on the opportunities and challenges experienced in redeveloping the suburbs.  Case studies highlighting successful use of various financing tools will be offered.CM 1.5
Shyam Kannan Robert Charles Leser & Co., LLC
Paying it Forward - Leveraging Market Forces to Fund Smart Growth (1.8 MB)
Robert Rosenfeld JBG Rosenfeld Retail
The Challenge of Financing Infill Development (5.2 MB)
Daniel K. Slone McGuireWoods LLP
Planned Densification: Issues of Planning, Building and Harvesting Value of Anticipated Densities (3.8 MB)

10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Great Hall
This session presents a case study of suburban redevelopment planning in action.  Montgomery County, MD, a largely suburban jurisdiction, is in the midst of a major zoning code rewrite that will encourage the redevelopment of appropriate parts of the county to meet market demands for new housing and achieve sustainability goals.  Members of the County Zoning Advisory Panel and the County’s consulting firm CodeStudio will discuss the plan as it currently stands and the challenges they’ve faced along the way.CM 1.5
Patricia Baptiste Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel
Ralph Bennett Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel
Robert G. Brewer, Jr. Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel
Jennifer Russel Montgomery County Zoning Advisory Panel
Lee D. Einsweiler Code Studio
A Progress Report on the Zoning Rewrite Project (4 MB)

Fenton Room
Some smart growth advocates say that current stormwater regulations and the Bay TMDL make achieving denser more sustainable urban forms more difficult and act as a disincentive to smart growth.  This session will discuss the current stormwater regulations and the Bay TMDL in Maryland and what they mean for suburban redevelopment efforts in the state.  Approaches capable of achieving both water resource and dense development goals will be discussed.CM 1.5
Guy Pearlman Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
The Light Imprint Handbook (5.2 MB)
Larry Coffman LNSB, LLLP
Green Infrastructure and Community Design: Low Impact Suburbia vs. Light Imprint New Urbanism: The Debate (9 MB)
Jason Dubow Maryland Department of Planning
Smart Growth and the Bay TMDL (1 MB)

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm LUNCH BREAK
We encourage you to visit one of the many fine establishments located throughout downtown Silver Spring, all within walking distance of the Silver Spring Civic Building.
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Great Hall
Teams of graduate students from the University of Maryland will present detailed, illustrated analyses and comparisons of the redevelopment potential for sites in Montgomery County, Maryland under two scenarios:  the existing zoning-by-right and the proposed zoning code rewrite.  The focus will be on the relationship between the existing neighborhood, the scale and character of the new development and the financial pro-forma for the site.  These design studies will further examine historical context; social context; density; morphological analysis of city plan, city fabric and building type(s); type(s) analysis (function, size, program, etc.); value; market type; and demographics.
University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Matthew J. Bell University of Maryland
3:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Great Hall
Rollin Stanley Montgomery County Planning Department

Gerrit-Jan Knaap National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education

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The conference organizers would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous contributions:

Sponsors (logos) National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland Montgomery County Planning Department Urban Land Institute WashingtonParsons Brinckerhoff Home Builders Association of Maryland

M-NCPPC Staff Contacts

Date of last update: June 6, 2011

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