New Report – “Where Do We Grow From Here?”
The Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland just released a new report, entitled “Where Do We Grow From Here?”
From the task force’s home page on the website for the Maryland Department of Planning:
The Task Force presented its report to Governor O’Malley at his “Smart, Green & Growing” press conference on January 12, 2009. The report, entitled “Where Do We Grow from Here?,” presents an assessment of current conditions in the State and outlines over 50 recommendations for furthering smart, sustainable growth in Maryland.
“Maryland has long been a national leader in progressive land use policy, from the creation of the first state planning commission in 1933 to the well-known Smart Growth legislation of 1997. More than a decade after the advent of Smart Growth, however, we continue to face significant land use challenges,” said Jon Laria, Chair of the task force. “Maryland is a wonderful place to live, but expected population growth promises increased pressure on farmlands, forests, and waterways, including our precious Chesapeake Bay and the window of opportunity to confront and solve these challenges is shrinking.”
The report is broad in its scope, but includes a great deal of excellent and fairly detailed information, and an ambitious list of relatively specific recommendations.
The report is not short. But it well written, and very well organized, with discreet sections, and an ample offering of informative, engaging and attractive photographs, maps and graphics. If you have the interest and time, it’s worth reading cover to cover. But even if you are not so inclined, I encourage you to browse the document, and read what most catches your attention, or, at least, consider reading the executive summary and the summary of recommendations.
I don’t agree with each and every one of the recommendations exactly as presented. And I’ve heard others express sincere concerns about the degree to which it reflects or is part of a trend toward greater state intrusion into local land use planning (and authority). But I’m not going to delve into those concerns and controversies here and now.
Rather, I hope you’ll take some time to review the report and recommendations without filtering it through my criticisms.