Design, Arts, Culture 2050

Thrive Montgomery 2050 will look at ways of creating communities with elements that enable Design, Arts and Culture to prosper and be celebrated. Here is what we know:

  • We are becoming more diverse. Over the past 25 years, the county’s population increased by 40 percent to more than 1 million residents. People of color now make up more than half of the population. Nearly a fifth of the county, 19 percent, identifies as Hispanic. One-third of the county is foreign-born, the highest concentration in the region. The cultural identity of the county continues to evolve.
  • A twenty-four-hour life cycle. The County is evolving from a bedroom community for DC to a collection of neighborhoods with their own centers. Many places within the county now cater to residents, workers and visitors through the course of a day.
  • A new perspective/a deeper meaning. How we experience and react to the arts, design and culture is changing as cultural creators can now mine global influences and reach worldwide audiences. At the same time, people are seeking deeper connections to “place” and previously untold and unheard stories from the past. Experiences and voices from the past continue to shape how we experience and use our public and cultural spaces in the present.
  • Never lost, we explore our world uninhibited. Seventy-four percent of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older in the U.S say they use their phone to get directions or other information based on their current location. Using the internet, we route alternatives, pre-scan the destination, and change course with the touch of a screen. It is easier today to go to new places and gain new experiences.
  • Working beyond the office. In our predominantly white-collar county, work is no longer contained within the confines of an office. Multitasking, tele-working, remote conferencing, all practices that the internet has enabled, are making work more flexible and quite frankly, unavoidable. Conventional office space is shrinking throughout the county as more people work from home, coffee shops and coworking spaces.
  • Walking is an amenity. More people prefer to live and work today in places where it is easy to walk to destinations, but such places are hard to come by at an affordable price. In 2016, Walkable Urban Places and walkable neighborhoods combined were only 1.8 percent of the region’s area, but they faced tremendous development pressure for all real estate product types except industrial uses.
  • We crave experiences that enhance our quality of life. People increasingly desire access to authentic experiences that celebrate the culture of a place and provide opportunities for social interaction.
  • New social patterns need new types of spaces. We behave very differently in public spaces today than we did before smartphones. A third of all relationships in the United States begin online. Personal and professional relationships today evolve simultaneously online and in the real world, demanding our public spaces perform differently when it comes to hosting our social interactions.

Tell us what you think and let us know what concerns and hopes you have for this important issue.

Contact Our Staff

Atul Sharma

Last Updated: September 17, 2019