In a November 7 press release, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Planning (MDP) announced the designation of five new sustainable communities under the Sustainable Communties Act of 2010: (1) Aberdeen; (2) Cumberland; (3) Hyattsville; (4) Laurel; and (5) Westminster.
“Existing communities in rural, suburban and urban areas are smart places to grow and focus scarce local and state resources for revitalization,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner. “The Sustainable Communities program aims at helping existing communities, such as the five announced today, to create clear action plans for revitalization. As these plans unfold throughout Maryland – with Transit Oriented Development, new business facades, improved opportunities for affordable housing in revitalized towns and cities – I believe that a clear vision for sustainable communities will emerge.”
“Sustainable Communities strengthens the progress Maryland has made in smart growth and sustainable development,” said Maryland Secretary of Planning Richard E. Hall, who chairs the Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet. “These five designees are demonstrating their commitment to sustainable communities: sound environmental protection, strong local character and sense of community, solid economic development and innovative housing and development strategy. When I talk to people about GrowthPrint and PlanMaryland, these are the types of communities that I describe.”
A Sustainable Community Area designation reflects that a municipality or County has identified a specific local area in need of revitalization and has created a comprehensive strategy to encourage and guide local investment. The comprehensive Sustainable Community strategy aims to increase economic, transportation and housing choices as well as the quality of the local environment.