From Ideas to Reality: Speaker Series Focuses on Smart Planning

The Montgomery County Planning Board's speaker series this month features urban planners talking about how to turn ideas into reality.

Montgomery County's population may not be increasing as rapidly as it did in the 1980s—when the county accounted for almost one-third of Maryland's population increase, according to the county's website—but it's still increasing, and the Montgomery County Planning Board is bringing in two speakers this month to talk about ways in which to implement plans that will help manage the county's projected growth.

In the speaker series, two urban planners will talk with the public (for whom admission is free-of-charge) about how a community can transition from planning ideas to making those ideas a reality.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments estimates that, between 2010 and 2040, Montgomery County's population will increase by about 242,000—close to 25 percent, from 975,400 to 1,217,400. (See the data for more details.)

How do we deal with this projected population growth, when some parts of the county are already urban and congested?

Eileen Fogarty—who, as planning director for Santa Monica, CA, oversaw the development of thriving urban transit centers—will offer some answers on Tuesday, Feb. 26, when she will speak on "From Plan to Reality: How Everyone Benefits."

Fogarty also led the development of Eisenhower East, a 238-acre, 17-million-square-foot urban town center in Alexandria, VA, within walking distance of two Metro stations. And, in Santa Cruz, she managed the rebuilding of the town after the 1989 earthquake.

Next week, on Wednesday, Feb. 20, Michael La Place Jr., planning director for Passaic County, NJ, will present "Planning for Heritage Tourism: The Byways Plan for Passaic County, NJ," as an example of how a well-executed urban design can boost economic development and help build community identity. "As planning director of Passaic County, La Place managed the [Byways Plan], which played up historic assets as a successful economic tool," the county planning department explained in a statement.

During La Place’s tenure, the Passaic County Planning Department has won two state awards from the American Planning Association, including a smart growth award for transit-oriented design for a commuter rail corridor, the statement added.

Both presentations will take place at 7 p.m. at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission headquarters auditorium at 8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.

Joe Galvagna February 15, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Yes Montgomery. CO has explosion problem that's because its known as the county that has the most free stuff. A good portion of this population explosion are illegals and people looking for something free not people who will be contributing to the county just taking from t.


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