On Tuesday, Governor Martin O’Malley announced the designation of 16 “Smart Site” projects in Maryland. Introduced as part of the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s Smart, Green and Growing initiative, Smart Sites are site-specific capital grant projects that encourage green building practices and sustainable growth in already existing Maryland communities. A press release from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development states,
“When all stakeholders collaborate – including local and state agencies, businesses, citizens and grass-root organizations – together we can accelerate the revitalization of communities across the State of Maryland,” Governor O’Malley announced. “We are investing in the creation of jobs, retail development, mixed-use residential in communities from Carroll County to Dorchester County to Baltimore City and will continue to create a Smart, Green and Growing Maryland for future generations.”
The 16 sites include:
- A partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to prepare 11 acres for transit-oriented development at the Naylor Road Metro station in Prince George’s County.
- Two new green high schools constructed on the current site of the outdated Dundalk High School and Sollers Point Technical High School in Baltimore County.
- Infill development of nine units of workforce housing in Westminster’s designated Maple Street community.
While the Smart Site projects vary, they all are designed to:
- Strengthen public and private partnerships at the local level that leverage substantial private investment in appropriate growth and revitalization areas.
- Educate about the range of exemplary growth and revitalization projects and partnerships in progress in communities throughout Maryland.
- Coordinate State, local and private investment in high impact projects in targeted areas, including BRAC zones, Transit-Oriented Development sites, Main Streets and Maryland Sustainable Communities.
“Targeting resources from varied sources is vital to delivering the transportation oriented infrastructure needed around the state,” said Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley. “The Smart Sites initiative provides the focus required to address the projected growth in our state that includes what we will see from BRAC and future economic development. Working together with clear objectives, we can accomplish great things.”
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development coordinates the Smart Sites capital projects that encourage public and private investment. “Our commitment to the quality of life across the State of Maryland is demonstrated through focused investments in Smart Site projects,” said Housing and Community Development’s Secretary, Raymond A. Skinner. “These projects represent partnerships to promote economic stability, employment opportunities and affordable housing options.”
This is the second round of Smart Site designations.