Herstory: More advice from women in leadership

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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

Herstory: Women in Leadership

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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

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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

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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

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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

Thrive Explained: Adapting and expanding the role of parks

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By Casey Anderson and Jai Cole

Parks, recreation, and open space are the motherhood and apple pie of land-use planning and local government, with just about everyone agreeing on their value and appeal. But if you’ve ever been to a public meeting about a dog park or skateboard facility (or even a soccer field) you know that the consensus starts to break down when decisions are made about how parks and public spaces will be used and where the amenities to support them will be located.

Montgomery County has long been a leader in adopting forward-thinking policies to preserve land for parks, recreation, agriculture, and resource conservation. Thrive Montgomery 2050 builds on this legacy, partly by recommitting to state-of-the-practice … Continue reading

Despite the Headlines, Renters Never Left Dense Downtowns During Pandemic

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Written by Todd Fawley-King, Lisa Govoni

During debates and testimony about the proposed Attainable Housing Strategy, multiple participants have wondered about the housing landscape following the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to allow for more housing in established single-family zones. Will people want to live in denser housing? Will we be able to satisfy our housing needs with the empty units sitting in our downtowns? Certainly the headlines from newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post gave that impression: “America’s biggest cities were already losing their allure;” “The Pandemic is making people reconsider city living.” These newspapers even verged on fearmongering: “Which cities are renters fleeing, and where are they going?;” “They can’t leave the Bay … Continue reading

The Future for Montgomery County’s Industrial Lands

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This blog was originally posted on August 4, 2021 and has been updated to add in research and information from the Montgomery Planning’s Historic Preservation and Research and Strategic Projects offices about the equity issues involved in examining Montgomery County’s industrial land uses.

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic’s increase of e-commerce and package fulfillment, falling industrial vacancy rates, and the surge in development of industrial space regionally and nationwide have communities rethinking the amount of industrial land they need. Industrial clusters are often targeted for redevelopment when they are near transit facilities because they are less valuable per acre than higher density and/or higher rent, office, retail, and multifamily properties. Additionally, jurisdictions that are in the core of metropolitan areas … Continue reading