Meeting-in-a-Box Provides Tool for Sharing Ideas About the Future of Montgomery County

November 22, 2019

Thrive Montgomery 2050

Community groups and civic and homeowner associations are encouraged to host a meeting and gather feedback on the issues and solutions for Thrive Montgomery 2050

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, invites the community to use an innovative tool, the Meeting-in-a-Box, to lead conversations with their neighbors and friends about their priorities for the future of Montgomery County over the coming decades. The Meeting-in-a-Box can be conducted at a community meeting, in living rooms or completed individually.

Community feedback from the Meeting-in-a-Box will be used to help inform goals and policies for Thrive Montgomery 2050, the update to the county’s General Plan that guides growth in the county.

“Sweeping changes are occurring now that the county did not face 50 years ago when the General Plan was first approved,” says Planning Director Gwen Wright. “They include climate change, the rise of the sharing economy, increasing population diversity, autonomous vehicles, new technologies and so much more.  We are offering the Meeting-in-a-Box for neighborhood association meetings, social gatherings and civic groups to make sure your voice is heard in setting priorities and planning our future.”

Thrive Montgomery 2050 Meeting-in-a-Box participants are asked to provide comments on their top three priorities for addressing issues impacting Montgomery County’s future, including community equity, the environment, housing, transportation, the economy and parks and open space.

The Thrive Montgomery 2050 Meeting-in-a-Box is available in three ways:

  1. Online at It can be downloaded, completed and sent back to
  2. A hard copy can be obtained from the Information Counter on the second floor of the Planning Department (8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD).
  3. Planners can also send a copy by mail to those who request the Meeting in a Box by calling Lauren Stamm at 301-495-4556 or emailing

More information about Thrive Montgomery 2050 is available at

Frequently Asked Questions About Thrive Montgomery 2050 Meeting-in-a-Box

Why was Meeting-in-a-Box developed?

Since the General Plan is a countywide plan, this tool was created to reach a wider audience than is typical of area plans. It allows planners to receive valuable feedback about the big issues of Thrive Montgomery 2050 from individuals and community groups at their convenience, without their need to attend a scheduled public meeting with planners.

How does Meeting-in-a-Box work?

The Meeting-in-a-Box guides participants through a set of questions to determine their priorities and policy ideas on topics ranging from equity and the environment to housing and transportation. Priorities for each issue are ranked according to importance.

How long does it take to conduct a Meeting-in-a-Box and who is involved?

The Meeting-in-a-Box lasts about an hour to conduct; more time is required to plan and prepare. The Meeting-in-a-Box requires a host to organize and facilitate the meeting, a note-taker for the session and participants to engage in the exercise and complete the worksheets.

About Thrive Montgomery 2050

During summer 2019, the Montgomery County Planning Department launched the update of Montgomery County’s General Plan, the county’s long-term framework for land use and development. This effort, called Thrive Montgomery 2050, will result in new countywide policies to help Montgomery County thrive by addressing the challenges and opportunities in the decades to come. A lot has changed in the county since the General Plan was originally approved in 1964. Thrive Montgomery 2050 will guide future growth in response to the demographic shifts, technological innovations, changing lifestyles and economic disruptions that have taken place in recent decades. The new General Plan will consider many issues framed by three pillars: economic health, environmental resilience and equitable communities. These themes will help guide the recommendations of the plan with help from the community.