As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Martin O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown have asked the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission to propose an Infill, Redevelopment, and Revitalization (IRR) Policy by August 31. The Commission will be hosting a public forum on June 25 in Annapolis. From a June 23 press release:
As leaders throughout Maryland work to improve quality of life and economic vitality from Cumberland to the Eastern Shore, they are turning to strategies that encourage redevelopment and infill as a means to revitalize their communities.
Recognizing the many benefits of community reinvestment, Governor Martin O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in January asked the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission to undertake an initiative to advance infill, redevelopment and revitalization statewide. Since then, the Commission has been reviewing federal, state and local programs and analyzing the practices of many Maryland communities to gain insight into the best ways to create vibrant places with a range of housing, employment and transportation options.
The Commission will deliver a set of recommendations to the governor’s office at the end of summer.
As part of the Infill, Redevelopment and Revitalization (I/R/R) initiative, the Commission is holding a public forum Wednesday to seek ideas from 12 Maryland planners, developers and local leaders. In a panel format, invited speakers will address issues like market dynamics and community design and generate discussion about where efforts to revitalize have worked – and where they haven’t.
A main strategy of smart growth, infill is the development of vacant parcels in built areas, while redevelopment focuses on rebuilding. Both are part of community revitalization, which instills new life and vitality into a place. People know it when they see it: downtowns bustling with activities and special events, a variety of housing types, wide sidewalks that beckon to pedestrians and well-tended storefronts.
“Redeveloping Maryland’s communities provides environmental benefits by reinvesting in buildings and infrastructure,” said Commission Chairman Jon Laria. “When we focus growth where services exist, we avoid building on tracts far from population centers, which is not a sustainable way to grow.”
The I/R/R recommendations will cover investment, policies and programs based on an analysis of existing reports and interviews with community leaders and representatives. The final report also will contain case studies identifying what works in a community’s efforts to revitalize, redevelop or attract infill development, and what impediments have slowed progress.
The forum, to be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 in the Miller State Building, President’s Conference Center West, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, is open to the public. Those who wish to have direct input on the I/R/R initiative should take the I/R/R online survey designed for anyone who lives or works in Maryland.