Growing inclusively is possible…if we build enough housing

Posted by & filed under Planning.

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

Honoring my heritage: How Montgomery Planning’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Project brought me closer to my family

Posted by & filed under Places.

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

Herstory: More advice from women in leadership

Posted by & filed under Planning.

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

Key insights from “Lessons learned: A conversation on expanding housing types from across the country”

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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

Honoring nationally renowned historic figure, the Rev. Josiah Henson

Posted by & filed under Places, Public spaces.

A conversation with Montgomery Planning Director Gwen Wright on the newly renamed Josiah Henson Parkway

By Gwen Wright and Karen Blyton

On March 4, 2022, community members and government leaders witnessed history as street signs were installed one week after the Montgomery Planning Board approved a resolution to rename Montrose Parkway in honor of the Rev. Josiah Henson. The new Josiah Henson Parkway in North Bethesda runs through the former plantation property of Isaac Riley, where Henson was enslaved for many years before escaping to freedom in Canada. Just a few blocks south of Josiah Henson Parkway is the Josiah Henson Museum and Park, which is also part of the Riley property and is operated by Montgomery Parks.

Henson, … Continue reading

Herstory: Women in Leadership

Posted by & filed under Planning.

Celebrating female planning leaders at M-NCPPC in Montgomery County

Women are an integral part of the workforce at The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). As of Fiscal Year 2021, the latest data available, women made up 50.4% of M-NCPPC employees compared to 49.6% male employees. In the same fiscal year, M-NCPPC female career employees earned about $7,266 more annually than male employees on average—nationally, women still earn just 82 cents for every dollar a man earns.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we sat down with female planning leaders at M-NCPPC. We spoke with Montgomery County Planning Board Commissioner Tina Patterson, Commissioner Carol Rubin, Montgomery Planning Director Gwen Wright, and Deputy Planning Director Tanya Stern. Find out … Continue reading

How Montgomery County can increase equitable access to transit by improving walkability

Posted by & filed under Planning.

This piece was originally published on brookings.edu on February 16, 2022.

By Jesse Cohn McGowan (Transportation Planner Coordinator), Lauren Pepe (Senior Planning Associate), and Juan Jose Castro Cerdes (Senior Planning Associate), Montgomery County Planning Department

Transit has the potential to connect people to places in a sustainable, affordable manner—but only if riders can access it. Transportation planning must take into account not only where transit services are located, but how people traverse the built environment to access such services. Lower-income, majority-minority neighborhoods often lack the basic infrastructure for walking (such as sidewalks and crosswalks) and are more likely to have had their neighborhoods cut off by highways—resulting in disproportionate numbers of pedestrian crashes, injuries, and fatalities in these areas … Continue reading

Thrive Explained: What are the specific environmental recommendations?

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When it comes to environmental resilience, it’s in there!

By Casey Anderson and Steve Findley

What does Thrive Montgomery 2050 say about the environment? To quote from an old ad for a popular brand of spaghetti sauce, “It’s in there!” From climate change to improving air and water quality, preserving habitats and improving biological diversity, managing stormwater and protecting watersheds, the environmental goals and guidance in Thrive Montgomery 2050 are woven throughout the Plan.

As outlined in our last blog post, the wedges and corridors land use pattern retained from Montgomery County’s first General Plan provides two critical components that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create resilience: compact growth and natural resource preservation. These components are linked: the … Continue reading

Thrive Explained: Compact Growth, Complete Communities, and the Environment

Posted by & filed under Planning.

Sustainable Growth is not an Oxymoron

By Casey Anderson and Steve Findley

Thrive Montgomery 2050 builds on the ideas laid out in the Wedges and Corridors plan to reinforce anti-sprawl policies and incorporate new insights about sustainability and development. This post explains the environmental benefits of the compact growth footprint established by the Wedges and Corridors plan and updated by Thrive Montgomery 2050 – and why any alternative path would chew up more land, cut down more trees, and undercut efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change.

Reaffirming and updating the Wedges and Corridors commitment to compact form

The Wedges and Corridors plan laid the groundwork – no pun intended – … Continue reading

Small increases in density make homeownership more attainable: A case study of Habitat for Humanity’s Garland Avenue Duplex project in Takoma Park

Posted by & filed under Planning, Zoning.

By Sarah Reddinger, Vice President of Community Development, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland

In September 2020, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland was approached by the City of Takoma Park to partner on the redevelopment of a single-family home into an affordable homeownership opportunity. The home happened to be located in a zone that allowed for duplexes, which is rare in Montgomery County, so we saw this as the perfect chance to demonstrate how duplexes can fit into existing single-family neighborhoods while also driving down the cost per unit. The City assigned its Right to Purchase to Habitat and generously provided $200,000 to from its Housing Reserve Fund to help subsidize the project. And so, the Garland Ave Duplex … Continue reading