The Compass - eNews from Baltimore Planning

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A monthly eNewsletter from the Baltimore City Department of Planning

June 2016

A Message from the Director…

This month, the Department of Planning is kicking off the public planning process for the Green Network: a collective vision for Baltimore to revitalize communities by creating an interconnected system of greenspaces throughout the city.

Abandoned buildings and vacant properties are an urgent challenge for Baltimore - they make communities less safe and reduce the quality of life for residents. The Green Network Plan will identify vacant properties to transform into green spaces and community assets, and the Department of Planning needs Baltimore residents to weigh in.

Community members are invited to get involved in the Green Network Planning process on June 15th. At this meeting, residents will help identify potential sites throughout the city and in their neighborhood that are ideal for greening - sites that could become neighborhood parks, sports fields, community gardens, recreation trails or open space. 

The public meeting will be a highly interactive conversation - residents will have opportunities to interact with each other and with City staff as well as the Consultant team for the Green Network Plan. This meeting is an opportunity for community residents to shape the future of Baltimore - the ideas generated will contribute to making neighborhoods safer, healthier and more vibrant. 

The Department of Planning urges residents to attend the June 15th meeting, and to get involved!

Thomas J. Stosur, Director 

Upcoming Meetings: Green Network Plan Public Meeting on June 15

Green Network
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Baltimore Seeking Sustainability Ambassadors


We know that one of the best ways to connect with people and learn what they’re doing and what they need is to empower experts from our communities to take the lead. They are the ones best placed to spread the word and listen to what their friends and neighbors have to say. 

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That’s why we’re encouraging people to become Community Ambassadors and help get their neighborhoods involved in making sure the new sustainability plan reflects what is most important to all our citizens.

Our priority in this process and for the updated plan is equity. We want to make sure every story and every voice truly counts. 

Be a part of the process by signing up to be a Community Ambassador!

The Planning Department has a new website!

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LINCS Corridor Plans Make Progress

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Leveraging Investments in Neighborhood Corridors (LINCS) is an interagency partnership focused on revitalizing key corridors that connect neighborhoods and communities throughout the City. The corridors included in LINCS are: Greenmount Avenue; Pennsylvania and West North Avenues; Liberty Heights Avenue and Garrison Boulevard; East North Avenue; and Central Avenue. Over the past year, the LINCS planning process moved forward across several corridors.

On July 29th, 2015, Mayor Rawlings-Blake launched the first LINCS corridor initiative along Greenmount Avenue from Eager Street to 29th Street. The City’s LINCS interagency team partnered with the Baltimore Chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Strong City Baltimore and community organizations to conduct a two-day Technical Advisory Panel (TAP). TAP panels are designed to provide expert, multidisciplinary advice on land use and real estate issues. The panels tour the study area, interview stakeholders, and formulate recommendations. The Greenmount LINCS TAP report was released at an event with Mayor Rawlings-Blake on February 23rd, 2016, and it is now available for review on the Department of Planning’s website. 

Recommendations in the report include:

  • Traffic calming measures such as improved crosswalks and new planters.
  • Strategic retail opportunities, including a breakfast-focused restaurant.
  • New mixed use development with additional retail at the ground level.
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The Pennsylvania and West North Avenue LINCS planning process began in October of 2015 with a Transportation Listening Session to gather community input on the crucial role transit plays in this corridor. This session was followed by an Urban Land Institute Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) held on October 19-20, 2015.  This LINCS team held additional community listening sessions on sanitation and public safety in January and April of 2016.

A related initiative currently underway in the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor area is Local Foods, Local Places. This participatory planning process focuses on Avenue Market, and was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Local Foods, Local Places is a technical assistance program to help communities develop local food systems. Through this initiative, a workshop for Avenue Market was held in May.

The Pennsylvania West North Avenues LINCS team looks forward to future public engagement sessions and a release of the ULI TAP report in the coming months.

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LINCS for Liberty Heights Avenue & Garrison Boulevard officially began in February of 2016, when residents and stakeholders attended a briefing session at the Forest Park branch library. 

A kickoff meeting was held on February 29th, during which residents discussed their vision for the corridor. The first LINCS listening session for Liberty Heights, focusing on community economic development, was held on Tuesday, May 24th, and additional community meetings scheduled for the summer months are posted to the Department of Planning’s website. 

The City will use the results of the LINCS reports and Listening Sessions to create an implementation strategy for each corridor that will target resources and services to address the specific needs of each corridor. Further information on each of the LINCS initiatives is available on our new LINCS website.

For more information on Greenmount Avenue LINCS, please contact Kate Edwards at or 410-396-5934.   

For more information on Pennsylvania and West North Avenues, contact Mary Colleen Buettner at or 410-396-5937.   

For more information on Liberty Heights Avenue and Garrison Boulevard, contact Chad Hayes at or 410-396-3958.  

New Interns Join Planning Team for the Summer

Three new interns joined the Department of Planning for the summer of 2016.


Kathryn Hendley is an intern for the Comprehensive Planning Team, focusing on West Baltimore. She is originally from Alexandria, Virginia and graduated this past May from the University of Virginia with degrees in Foreign Affairs and Urban & Environmental Planning. Next year, she will pursue a Master degree in Urban & Environmental Planning at UVA. She is working on the LINCS, INSPIRE and surplus schools project in West Baltimore. 


Jenny Brooks is an intern with the Food Policy Initiative, and a second-year graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where she is studying for a MS in Public Health. She moved to Baltimore from Southeast Idaho, where she recently completed a BS in Dietetics at Idaho State University. She will be working on projects to improve food access in the food retail environment.


Tim Williams, a student at Salisbury University, is the recipient of the Gerald A. Elkins award this year. This award provides a stipend for a student who is exploring a career in urban planning and mapping. It was established through the Salisbury University (SU) Foundation, Inc., to honor Gerald Elkins, the late husband of SU Chief of Staff Amy Hasson. The couple met at Baltimore's Planning Department. 

A 2013 graduate of Owings Mills High School, Williams is studying geographic information science and geography at Salisbury.