Diverse and Adaptable Growth

Vision for Diverse and Adaptable Growth

Thrive Montgomery 2050 envisions a shift from the conventional suburban model of car-oriented greenfield development to walkable urbanism based on a compact form of infill development and redevelopment resulting in Complete Communities as described in the first chapter.

A compact form of development uses the idea of a village or a town center with places of commerce and gathering in the center of a walkable residential community. Compact form of building essentially means using a smaller footprint of buildings placed close together. When designed appropriately, compact development provides a number of advantages over suburban sprawl including efficient land use, more natural areas for recreation and preservation, reduced automobile travel and increased walking and biking and reduced expense for building and maintaining infrastructure. “When a variety of uses are close together, people are more likely to walk, public places are livelier, and a civic identity develops more readily than in a conventionally planned development.”

The principles of urbanism and compact development can be applied in urban, suburban and rural areas to address the variation in context, scale, intensity and the desired community character. According to a ULI paper, compact development “does not imply high-rise or even uniformly high density, but rather higher average “blended” densities. Compact development also features a mix of land uses, development of strong population and employment centers, interconnection of streets, and the design of structures and spaces at a human scale.”

A large part of the future growth in the county must be transit-oriented with both jobs and housing located within walking distance of the existing and planned rail and BRT stations. Montgomery County should focus future growth not around these transit stations but also on the connective tissue between them—the network major corridors (MD 355, Georgia Avenue, Route 29, Veirs Mill Road, University Boulevard, New Hampshire Avenue, Corridor Cities Transitway, and North Bethesda Transitway). As Montgomery County transitions from greenfield development to infill and redevelopment to accommodate future growth in a changing social and natural environment, these corridors provide an opportunity to help the county grow and improve economic health, equity and environmental resilience.

Read the draft Diverse and Adaptable Growth Goals, Policies and Actions presented to the Planning Board on June 11.

Watch the Diverse and Adaptable Growth Community Chat, held on June 30, and review the presentation.

Last Updated: July 10, 2020