Smart Growth @20 in Maryland

Steve facilitating Smart Growth @ 20

I had the privilege to facilitate the core, participatory parts of the National Center for Smart Growth’s (NCSG) “Smart Growth @20” event in Annapolis.  We designed the event to not only commemorate 20 years of commitment to smarter growth in the state, but more importantly to begin to set the agenda for smart growth for the next 20 years in Maryland.

We had a fantastic turnout with opening comments from both Governor Larry Hogan and former Governor Parris Glendening (now the president of the Leadership Institute of Smart Growth America) as well as remarks from local and national leading figures on where smart growth has been and where it might go moving forward.

Governor Larry Hogan

For the remainder of the afternoon, I facilitated a process where the 125 attendees were briefed on the proposed 12 updated “visions” for smart growth for the state going forward, and then organized into twelve breakout groups to assess progress, pain points, and draft core strategies for making major improvements in those areas for the next decade.

After all groups had a chance to share their priority recommendations, we engaged in an extraordinarily rich conversation about the actions and strategies to pay most attention to in continuing to implement better, smarter growth for the future in Maryland.  The meeting included stakeholders from state and county governments, the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, and the development and builder community.

This is the second time Public Engagement Associates has partnered with the National Center for Smart Growth in the past few years. In 2014, 2015, and 2017, we facilitated meetings that helped to lead to the creation of the http://Purple Line Community Compact put together by the Purple Line Corridor Coalition. The Purple Line is the newest light transit project in Maryland, funded last summer, that will run from Bethesda in Montgomery County through Silver Spring to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County