Current Plans for Development of the Crescent Neighborhood in Downtown Columbia

A primary goal for Crescent is to create a sustainable, urban live/work neighborhood overlooking Merriweather-Symphony Woods. This neighborhood will be unique to Downtown Columbia, with tall office and residential towers set on the periphery within new development parcels on the high ground between lower, environmentally-sensitive areas.

One of the neighborhood’s greatest assets is its natural setting with preserved and enhanced woodlands and tributaries to Symphony Stream and Little Patuxent River. And, while the developed areas will be fairly dense, the park setting, the curvilinear roads, and the rolling topography will set Crescent apart from the other Downtown neighborhoods.

A sustainable built environment will be created through the creation of mixed-use development with amenity spaces that allow residents to socialize, work, shop and play; the design of complete streets where residents can walk or bike to destinations or public transit; the design of buildings that are healthy and use natural resources more efficiently; and the creation of a healthy environment with clean water, clean air, and increased connections to the natural environment.

from Crescent Neighborhood Design Guidelines, Howard Hughes Corporation, March 2015

Continue reading Current Plans for Development of the Crescent Neighborhood in Downtown Columbia

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National Night Out in HoCoMD Builds Community Partnership

The neighbors on our cul-de-sac in Clary’s Bright Passage, Hickory Ridge, Columbia, Md. are hosting an ice cream social for National Night Out (NNO) on August 2nd. The block party will be great fun, and serve to strengthen our neighborhood with more connections among neighbors.

Howard County Police will also be participating, a great example of community policing (“to protect and serve”). In light of the recent shootings of Cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge, it’s important we thank our First Responders, that they truly get how grateful we are for their protection.

And we need to do our part to establish partnership. Citizens will feel safer, and it makes it more likely a Cop will hear when he or she has screwed up.

There are over twenty other community-hosted parties being organized throughout Howard County. Click here for the local event near you:

https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=krlYimQqESM%3d&portalid=0 Continue reading National Night Out in HoCoMD Builds Community Partnership

How Diverse is Columbia, and Howard County MD?

The website WalletHub says Columbia, Maryland is among the 100 most diverse cities in the U.S., but surpassed by several cities in Montgomery County, Maryland. Of course, diversity is one of Columbia’s values that was radical 50 years ago and clearly has been an important reason that many people moved here. It is an economic driver that is important for any city to embrace. 

The WalletHub study considered diversity as more than just ethno-racial and economic diversity.  Its findings were cause for a lively discussion on the Facebook page, Celebrating Columbia Maryland and its Future. I decided to delve into the issue a bit more.  Continue reading How Diverse is Columbia, and Howard County MD?

Columbia, Md has deep connections to Freddie Gray’s Sandtown-Winchester ‘hood

SANDTOWN-WINCHESTER, BALTIMORE CITY

Sandtown is located in a historically African American area of West Baltimore neighboring the once affluent Upton. In the second half of the 20th century, Sandtown experienced economic depression, housing abandonment, crime, and racial rioting.  Whereas in the 1950s and 1960s famous African American performers such as Billie Holiday and Diana Ross performed there Continue reading Columbia, Md has deep connections to Freddie Gray’s Sandtown-Winchester ‘hood

Commentary: Change and Renewal in Columbia

Jim Rouse was an idol of mine, growing up in Severna Park. It was such a thrill for this twenty something in the early 1970s to see Columbia for the first time; to visit the Exhibit Center and take in the architecture and open spaces and design of this new city.  And having studied economics and considered Marxist analysis, I was impressed that the Rouse Company, a shareholder-owned corporation that was driven to make money, created this wonderful city. Continue reading Commentary: Change and Renewal in Columbia

Is good design being applied to new Downtown Columbia Development?

The Downtown Columbia Design Guidelines were issued in November 2010 “to ensure that what is built in the Downtown will be attractive, aesthetically coherent, practical and of beauty and value.”  In the last five years, several significant construction projects have been undertaken that were required to comply with this plan. Let’s consider whether the designs have met this standard. Continue reading Is good design being applied to new Downtown Columbia Development?

Commentary: Local Control

How often do we complain about stuff happening around us that is out of our control? I don’t hold that to be true of local government. Our leaders are our neighbors. In county government, Ken Ulman, Mary Kay Sigaty, Calvin Ball, and Jen Terrasa are all Columbia residents. In the course of testifying at public hearings on behalf of nonprofit organizations I’ve worked with and attending various social events, I’ve met these politicians and know them to be honorable people concerned about our community. They will be the first to admit that they are not expert in all things and therefore depend on citizens like you and me to educate them about the issues and their likely impact on the community. Continue reading Commentary: Local Control