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
Montgomery County’s first AAPI Heritage Project is examining the history of AAPI county residents as early as the 1900s
By Karen Yee
Of the 86,000 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the nation’s repository of historic structures, sites, buildings, districts and objects that are deemed significant to American history, less than 8% relate to Asian Americans and other underrepresented communities. In Montgomery County, where 15% of residents are Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), there is only one locally designated resource associated with AAPI heritage, the Pao-Chi and Yu Ming Pien House. Even this house was only recently recognized—it is located within the Potomac Overlook Historic District, designated in April 2022. In order to address this … Continue reading
Highlighting M-NCPPC female planning leaders in Prince George’s County
Have you ever wanted to have a career in leadership? Perhaps you want to go into the planning field? As a follow-up to our blog post featuring women planning leaders in Montgomery County, we wanted to highlight female planning leaders from Prince George’s County. This includes those who lead Prince George’s County Planning Board and Planning Department, both part of The Maryland-Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Get to know these women and see the advice they have for tomorrow’s leaders.
“I grew up in Prince George’s County and M-NCPPC has always been an important thread running through the tapestry of my life—enjoying our parks, events and programs as … Continue reading
By Jason Sartori, Lisa Govoni, and Karen Blyton
It has been widely reported that Montgomery County is facing a shortage of housing options that meet the size, price, and location needs of our increasingly diverse population. This issue is not specific to Montgomery County—places across the country are looking to expand housing types in their area.
To better understand what other regions have done to make homeownership more attainable for their residents, Montgomery Planning held a virtual event during the Montgomery County Planning Board’s February 24 meeting featuring an esteemed panel of housing experts. Called “Lessons learned: A conversation on expanding housing types from across the country,” it featured former Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, HUD’s Regina C. … Continue reading