April Compass- eNews from Baltimore Planning

Compass Logo over photo of Baltimore Skyline with Rainbow in sky
The Compass is a monthly eNewsletter of the Baltimore City Department of Planning.

April, 2014

A Message from the Director…

Recognizing the City’s current vulnerability to the impacts of severe hazard events, the City of Baltimore, led by the Planning Department, has undertaken a thorough, forward-thinking approach to the hazard mitigation planning process.

In October 2013, we published the Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3) as part of an effort to address existing hazards while simultaneously preparing for predicted hazards due to climate change.

I am proud of the fact that Baltimore is the nation’s first large city to integrate climate adaptation and predictive modeling into its All Hazards Mitigation Plan process.

This demonstrates the City’s commitment to becoming more sustainable and resilient.  So join us on Earth Day, April 22 to find out what each of us can do to help with this effort and prepare our own families and neighborhoods for the day we might need to be prepared... despite the hope that day never comes.

Thomas J. Stosur, Director


Facebook Logo

Play Ball!

Fun Facts about Baltimore's Baseball History

While Baltimore celebrated opening day with the Orioles at Camden yards,  the new Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball celebrated its own opening day in Owings Mills. 

But did you know that two historic Negro League baseball sites once were located just south of Camden Yards, the exact location of which was unknown until November 2013?

Historic Image of Westport Stadium

Maryland Baseball Park, located at the intersection of Bush Street and Russell Street, was home to the Baltimore Black Sox from 1921 to 1932.  The site is now occupied by the Holiday Inn Express near the future site of the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino.

The second was Westport Park, located two blocks south of Maryland Baseball Park at the intersection of Clare Street and Annapolis Road. Westport Park was home to the Baltimore Black Sox from 1917 to 1920.

(Note: there was a second Negro League ballpark in Baltimore known as Westport Stadium, located two miles south on Annapolis Road between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Patapsco Avenue, where the Baltimore Elite Giants played in 1950).

Source: Byron Bennett on the website, Deadball Baseball.

Orioles Logo

     Let's Go O's!

In Case of Natural Disaster: Will you be ready?

Baltimore is highly vulnerable to many natural hazards, ranging from coastal storms and flooding to extreme heat and high winds. There is strong consensus that these types of extreme events will increase, both in frequency and intensity, over the coming years. The increase in these natural disasters, combined with climate change, create potential impacts that will notably affect the City’s residents, businesses, infrastructure, and natural systems, and threaten regionally significant assets.

Aerial Photo of Flooding at Inner Harbor

Building upon the development of the 2013 Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3), the Department of Planning has generated a behavior-change campaign centered on preparedness and increasing community resilience. Natural disasters can happen any time and sometimes, without warning. Preparing for these disasters ahead of time will help our citizens deal with the potential negative outcomes such as no running water, no electricity, no phone, and extreme conditions.

Be Prepared: "Make a Plan. Build a Kit. Help Each Other"

Join us on Earth Day, April 22, 2014, between 5:30pm and 8:00pm at Humanim, 1701 N. Gay Street, Baltimore, 21213

In celebration of Earth Day 2014, the Department of Planning's Office of Sustainability will host a resilience and preparedness event.  This will provide the Department of Planning with an opportunity to collaborate with other city agencies and partners around a simple and easy to understand preparedness message- Make a Plan. Build a Kit. Help Each Other.

This hands-on event will focus on increasing citizens' chances of survival through the development of individual and family emergency plans and emergency preparedness kits. The event will also focus on making our entire community stronger and more resilient by working with citizens to identify community assets, build stronger community ties, and identify areas for improvement.

In addition to making a plan, building a kit, and helping each other, the Preparedness Event will also have the following interactive activities:

Photo of DP3 Public Meeting
  • Youth activities area with preparedness coloring books, poster competition, games, plant-your-own seed station, and various other activities;
  • Photo Booth with the Sustainability Turtle, our new mascot;
  • “Tell Your Story” Video Booths that provide citizens with an opportunity to document their stories from natural hazard events that have impacted Baltimore City;
  • Opportunities to sign- up to become a Climate Ambassador, participate in free first aid and CPR classes, and become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member, and;
  • The Annual Sustainability Report launch.

Please join us on Tuesday, April 22nd at Humanim, 1701 N. Gay Street, Baltimore, 21213. Drop in anytime between 5:30pm and 8:00pm to make your own emergency plan, build your own kit, and build stronger community ties. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend. Food and beverages will be provided.

For more information, please contact Kristin Baja at Kristin.baja@baltimorecity.gov or visit Baltimore’s resiliency website http://baltimorehazards.wordpress.com/.

National Recognition for Baltimore's DP3:

The response to our recently completed DP3 has been extremely positive.  The following are excerpts of some of the feedback we've received.

 "We work with many states and cities on climate resiliency issues, most recently with our work for the Abell Foundation in Baltimore. As part of that work, I had a chance to look carefully at your Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan (DP3). I wanted to tell you that I think it is best plan I have seen in the country that integrates the analyses and policy choices all cities face when addressing climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. I know that there is more work to do, but it provides a readable and sound round-map on these complex issues. In particular, I was impressed with the electric power section, which recommends a closer look at renewable options for power outages in severe weather events. On that score, you are headed in the right direction, and we are pleased to see the leadership of the city on those issues."  -- Lewis Milford, Esq., President, Clean Energy Group

"The DP3 is one of the best plans I've seen out there that incorporates both hazard mitigation planning and climate adaptation." -- Melissa Higbee, Program Officer, ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability, USA

Have you Hugged a Turtle Lately?

If you join us at the Town Hall on April 22nd, you might just get your chance!

Drawing of a Cartoon Turtle
Image of Planner Travis Pate presenting to Students at Morgan State

Mentoring Future Generations of Planners

In March, the Morgan Association of Planning Students (MAPS) hosted its first Professional Development Institute at the Morgan State University Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies. 

As part of the program to give planning students a first-hand look at the planning profession, Travis Pate, Demographic Specialist for the Department of Planning presented his work in support of the Casino Area Master Plan process. 

Megan Griffin, an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Department, organized the event in her role as President of MAPS.