The Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning

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A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

April 2016


A Message from the Director…

For this month’s Compass, I am excited to share with you several events going on at the Planning Department and throughout the city. First, the City is launching a new community pilot project - The Neighborhood Grow Center. 

Over the course of April, Baltimore residents can visit the Neighborhood Grow Center at the Baltimore Community Tool Bank, and attend free greening workshops on a variety of topics. 

The Department of Planning and the Office of Sustainability hope to replicate the success of the first Neighborhood Grow Center - similar Centers will become permanent fixtures in neighborhoods across Baltimore, offering residents access to green education and resources throughout the year.

In addition, the Office of Sustainability is hosting a Sustainability Town Hall on April 19. Residents are encouraged to attend and weigh in on an upcoming update to the City's Sustainability Plan.

Lastly, the Equity Committee has been hosting brown bag lunches this past winter on equity issues and Baltimore's economy. On April 20th, we will bring the speakers from these lunch time sessions together for a panel to discuss their work in Baltimore. It will be a great opportunity to learn from community leaders working to expand economic opportunity for all Baltimore residents, and we welcome community residents to join in on the discussion.






Thomas J. Stosur, Director 


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Department of Planning Hosts Equity Discussion Panel

On Wednesday, April 20, the Department of Planning's Equity Committee is hosting a panel discussion on the topic of building a more equitable economy in Baltimore. 


The panel will take place at 417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor from 12 - 2 PM. 

The panel includes:

  • Parag Rajendra Khandhar (Baltimore Activating Solidarity Economies)
  • Rodney Foxworth (Invested Impact)
  • Chris Wilson (Social Entrepreneur)
  • Kurt Sommer (Baltimore Integration Partnership)

Residents are encouraged to join the discussion.


Development Milestones

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Click the image above for a map of these development projects.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel (UDARP): April 14 at 9:30 AM
  • Planning Commission: April 21 at 12:00 PM

Meetings are held in the Front Boardroom of the Department of Planning, 8th floor of the Benton Municipal building, 417 East Fayette Street. 

The Planning Department has a new website!


Visit us at:
Subscribe to the Planning Department's e-newsletter by clicking on the image below:


Neighborhood Grow Center Open in April

Baltimore’s Office of Sustainability launched a new program on April 2nd called 'The Neighborhood Grow Center'. The Neighborhood Grow Center is a ‘greening resource hub’ pop-up project, combining free greening workshops, plant give-aways, and green product retail all under one roof.  


The Neighborhood Grow Center is open every weekend in April 2016 from 10am-5pm at the Baltimore Community Toolbank (1224 Wicomico Street in Carroll-Camden).

Every weekend, Baltimore City residents can attend free workshops at the Neighborhood Grow Center, to learn about subjects ranging from permaculture to worm bin composting to indoor micro-green cultivation. They can also visit Details Deconstruction and Chesapeake Compost Works to buy reclaimed materials salvaged from Baltimore City rowhouses and locally produced soil products.

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The Neighborhood Grow Center was conceived in partnership between the Office of Sustainability and the Department of Public Works as a part of the Waste-To-Wealth initiative. The main goal of the program is to increase city residents’ access to greening knowledge and resources, while also creating an outlet for materials diverted from our waste stream.  The resources available at the Grow Center will help residents tackle vacant lot greening and stormwater management projects, all while utilizing building materials salvaged from deconstructed vacant houses and compost created from our diverted food waste.

Ultimately, we hope to turn the Neighborhood Grow Center into a network of permanent sites, strategically located throughout Baltimore to make greening more accessible to all city residents.  Until then, we're immensely grateful for the Baltimore Community ToolBank's donation of space, time, and tools for this effort.

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The Neighborhood Grow Center is a project of the Baltimore Office of Sustainability and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, in partnership with Baltimore Community ToolBank, Humanim, Parks & People Foundation, Blue Water Baltimore, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Neighborhood Design Center.  The project has been made possible with the generous support of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, The Abell Foundation, and Tour Dem Parks.

The Office of Sustainability Hosts Annual Sustainability Town Hall: Every Story Counts

WHEN: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 from 6 PM to 8 PM 
WHERE: Humanim Inc, American Brewery Building - 1701 North Gay Street, Baltimore, MD 21213 -



Come help us kick-off the process to update the City's Sustainability Plan! Click on the image above to register.

Baltimore is creating a brand new, updated version of our sustainability plan and we need your help, because it's all about you. We're making a greater effort than ever before to include the voices that haven't been heard and to ensure everyone in the city gets their say. Because every story counts.

Come join us for a fun-packed evening of activities and games, free food and drink, and opportunities to weigh in on the future of Baltimore. Becoming a more sustainable, resilient and equitable city takes all of us working together and making sure everyone can play their part to the fullest.

You will have the opportunity to:

1. Share Your Stories

2. Learn About the History of Sustainability In Baltimore and Where We Are Now

3. Help Direct the Future of Sustainability Planning and Implementation in Baltimore City

4. Sign-Up as an Sustainability Ambassador to Help Lead Outreach Efforts In Your Community.

5. Receive Free Resources and Information

Bring your entire family! Kids activities and food will be provided.

Collective voices are needed to answer the question -  what will it take to grow a equitable, sustainable, and resilient Baltimore?