By George Lettis
In October 2023, Montgomery Planning showed why we continue to be a thought leader in the Washington, DC region and the nation for our independent, innovative, and inclusive community planning. The American Planning Association (APA) – the largest membership organization of professional planners and planning leaders and experts – consistently recognizes our expertise and work products that exemplify the best in planning principles, creativity, and effectiveness and solidify Montgomery County’s status as Maryland’s economic engine and a national model for enhancing quality of life for current and future generations.
Two cases in point: Montgomery Planning won a prestigious national Award of Excellence from APA’s County Planning Division and the National Association of County Planners (NACP) and was honored to … Continue reading
By James Hedrick, Commissioner, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Montgomery Parks Summer Adventure Challenge with Kids
I don’t know anything about parks.
I’m a Commissioner on the Montgomery County side of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), and I really don’t know anything about parks.
My background is in affordable housing and development – the planning side of the Commission. Most of what I know about parks is limited to about a decade of taking my kids to parks hoping that they will wear themselves out before bedtime.
Given my need to expand my knowledge of Montgomery County’s parks system, the Commission’s August recess offered a good opportunity to become more familiar with at least … Continue reading
By James Lee and Benjamin Kraft
Latest data reflect county’s status as a populous, maturing suburb
Montgomery Planning’s Research and Strategic Projects (RSP) Division is responsible for developing Montgomery County’s long-range forecasts for employment, population, and households as part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s (MWCOG) Cooperative Forecast Program. The Round 10 forecast was recently completed, and new numbers show over the next 30 years the county is projected to experience growth in population, households, and jobs. The growth rate, however, is estimated to be at a slower pace than previous forecasts, reflecting the county’s status as a populous, maturing suburb. The forecast estimates the county will add 143,000 jobs (up from 493,600 in 2020 to 636,500 in … Continue reading
By Miti Figueredo
This content was originally posted as an opinion piece by guest contributor Miti Figueredo in Greater Greater Washington on March 28, 2023 and is posted to The Third Place with permission.
Around the country, some pandemic-era changes have been widely accepted and made permanent, while others have been abandoned or scaled back. On Thursday, March 30, the Montgomery County Planning Board held a public hearing on whether to keep a half-mile road diet on Little Falls Parkway or end the closure of two lanes to car traffic that made space for walking, biking, and play.
Testing out a road diet on Little Falls Parkway
Last summer, Montgomery Parks implemented a pilot project to study whether Little Falls Parkway … Continue reading
By Paul Mortensen
Montgomery Planning is working on their new Pedestrian Master Plan to be presented to the Planning Board this spring. One of the greatest books on walkability and the creation of safe streets is Walkable City: How Downtown can Save America One Step at a Time, by Jeff Speck. This entertaining, informative, and most relevant book celebrated its 10th anniversary this past year. To help achieve Montgomery County’s Vision Zero goals of eliminating pedestrian fatalities through safe streets, Speck’s book provides a vision for creating streets that are safe, comfortable to pedestrians, and interesting—the primary criteria that supports walkability.
In our cities, towns, and neighborhood centers, streets occupy between 20% and 45% of the land. In the … Continue reading
By Lisa Govoni and Jason Sartori
One of Montgomery Planning’s mantras of late has been this idea of turning “parking lots to places.” In other words, let’s make better use of underutilized developed land and transform it into something more vibrant with multiple uses for residents and visitors. Inherent in “parking lots to places” is the thought that the “easier” parcels to redevelop – like surface parking lots – will be developed first, given the complexity and time involved in redevelopment of sites with existing uses.
Turning a parking lot into a place is infill development, which takes place on vacant or underutilized developed parcels within an area that have access to existing services. Infill development is beneficial to … Continue reading
You don’t need to be a novelist to tell a great story; you don’t even have to be a great writer. Storytelling through architectural rendering is a centuries-old way of expressing the relationship between design and the construction of buildings in the world around us. Architectural renderings can also give context to our cultural understanding of places and can inspire visions of those places and our society into the future.
Several groups of graduate students at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation set out to tell an architectural design story to reimagine downtown Silver Spring. Professors Matt Bell and Georgianne Matthews guided students in the Graduate Urban Design Studio this past fall as they studied … Continue reading
By Archie Chen and Carrie McCarthy
Montgomery County, MD, is known for the diversity of its population, with places like Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, and Germantown regularly showing up on lists of the most diverse cities in the United States. The county is ranked 23rd in the percentage of people of color and 9th in the percentage of foreign-born population of the 49 counties in the United States with populations exceeding 1 million.
Montgomery Planning completed an Esri ArcGIS storymap on racial and ethnic changes in the county since 1990 using the race and Hispanic origin classifications defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The first series of maps looks at changes for individual races and Hispanic ethnicity. The second … Continue reading
By Lisa Govoni and Jason Sartori
Today we introduce a new series of blog posts on the housing market in Montgomery County, a series we hope will address some misconceptions, and clarify Montgomery Planning’s position on how to address one of the county’s most difficult challenges: the high price and limited availability of high-quality housing to serve our county’s racial equity/social justice, environmental, and economic needs.
We thought it would be helpful to start this blog series by discussing Montgomery Planning’s position on housing and sharing some of the core tenets that guide our work program.
Montgomery County is a leader in housing policy, but we can and should do more. Montgomery County has long been a leader in … Continue reading
By Benjamin Kraft and Casey Anderson
The conventional story about development and displacement goes something like this: new luxury housing gets built in a neighborhood, driving up rents for existing residents who then must leave to find less expensive housing elsewhere. To be sure, displacement does happen and it can be a serious problem, but our Neighborhood Change research shows that this conventional story of displacement doesn’t correspond to what is happening in Montgomery County. Specifically, the study shows that displacement of lower-income residents is not inevitable, and that where it occurs is not driven by new housing development. In fact, displacement is associated with the failure to build new housing in neighborhoods experiencing an increase in demand. Our … Continue reading