Baltimore City Department of Planning e-News - August 2017

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the compass - city of baltimore department of planning

Baltimore City Department of Planning eNewsletter  -  August 2017

A Message from the Director


Each summer, the Department of Planning welcomes college and high school students from the Baltimore area and beyond to our office. Our student interns collaborate with staff on projects that increase our capacity to sharpen our analysis. This summer, we have a student intern working to develop and refine metrics for the Green Network Plan. Another student is working on an equity analysis of our Capital Improvement Program. And interns have been analyzing the survey results as part of the Sustainability Plan update. Expect to see more about these ongoing projects in future issues of The Compass.

This issue also highlights our Department’s involvement with YouthWorks. This summer, we welcomed four students through this Citywide program. We were excited to expose the youth to the field of urban planning, and in future years, we hope to expand our ability to provide an enriching experience for students through professional development sessions and a deeper dive into our field of work.

In July, we also welcomed a new staff person, Stephanie Maddin Smith, to our team. This issue profiles Stephanie’s new role at the Department of Planning: Stephanie will be leading the charge to integrate equity into our work, improve our communication efforts, and build a stronger relationship with our stakeholders – especially community members like you. In the coming months, expect to hear more about how our Department’s newest team is working to connect and resonate with our City.


Thomas J. Stosur, Director

YouthWorks Students Join Planning This Summer

Every summer, the Department of Planning (DOP) welcomes Baltimore City youth at the office through the Citywide YouthWorks program.

In 2017, the DOP hosted four students:

  • Keyonna Anderson (Edmonson-Westside High School)
  • Tyler Miller (Frederick Douglass High School)
  • Craig Minor (Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School)
  • Marcellous Walker (Francis M. Wood High School)

At the Department of Planning, our YouthWorks student interns assisted staff with notetaking, research, organizational, and writing tasks. They also had the opportunity to meet with staff one-on-one throughout DOP. Through these meetings, they learned more about what individual staff members do each day to keep DOP running, and educational and professional paths to careers in Urban Planning.


Craig Minor, a recent graduate of Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, assisted the Land Use and Urban Design Division with research on a potential tree protection ordinance. In addition, Craig composed a report on a proposed street and alley closing around Ambrose Kennedy Park in Johnston Square. This park was a recent winner of Great Urban Parks Campaign funding from the National Recreation and Park Association and the American Planning Association. Craig presented his report on the proposed street and alley closures around Ambrose Kennedy Park to the Planning Commission on July 27, 2017.

YouthWorks exposed Craig and his peers to the breadth of work undertaken at the Department of Planning – mapmaking, developing policy proposals on sustainability, reviewing development proposals, and many other tasks and projects. Craig noted that he was impressed by the “extensive nature of the work” at DOP. We are proud of his contributions to the staff report for the Planning Commission, and wish him great success at the Community College of Baltimore County, where he plans to pursue a pre-law track.


YouthWorks is an initiative of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. It connects 8,000 Baltimore City youth between the ages of 14 and 21 to paid summer jobs with private, nonprofit and public sector employers. Each student works five hours a day, five days a week, for five weeks over the course of the summer months. Many YouthWorks placements involve planning-related projects throughout the City.

YouthWorks students created murals at German Park in Reservoir Hill through the Art @ Work program. The mural was part of an INSPIRE plan to make improvements to German Park, as described in the John Eager Howard INSPIRE plan.

For more information on YouthWorks, please visit the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and check out recent Baltimore Sun coverage of other YouthWorks students.

Food Tour

Stakeholders Take a Food Environment Tour of Baltimore

On July 25, Mayor Pugh, the staff of the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, and the Institute for Public Health Innovation hosted a tour for Maryland Delegates about the City’s food systems. 

The tour visited urban farms, public markets, corner stores, community gardens, a commercial production kitchen, and other spaces around Baltimore contributing to Baltimore’s food system.

Fun Fact:

Baltimore's public market system is the oldest, still operating public market network in the U.S.

MIB Showroom

Fun For All at Made in Baltimore Launch

Made in Baltimore celebrated its’ launch with a party at Brick + Board on July 20th, 2017. Made in Baltimore supports local artisans and small manufacturers through a “made local” certification and branding program, marketing events and business development services.

The launch party occurred just days after Made in Baltimore won a “Best in Baltimore” honor from Baltimore Magazine, recognizing the program for its efforts to organize pop-up shops throughout the City.

Fun Fact:

Made in Baltimore’s logo is inspired by a bottle cap, designed by William Painter in Baltimore City in 1892. Crown Cork & Seal became one of the nation’s largest bottle camp makers, based out of Highlandtown.

Planning Welcomes New Assistant Director


Stephanie Maddin Smith, Assistant Director for Equity, Engagement and Communications, joins staff in July

Where are you originally from, and what brought you to Baltimore? 

I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. Specifically, I hail from Seatack, the largest historically-black community in Virginia Beach. I grew up in the home my grandfather built and where my mother was born. My husband, Calvin, took a job in Baltimore in 2005 and I followed in 2008. We fell in love with Baltimore very quickly. Currently, we live in a renovated row home in East Baltimore. Our three year old son was born here and I look forward to getting him a Made in Baltimore shirt to reflect his roots!

As the Director of Equity, Engagement and Communications, what are your responsibilities here at the Department of Planning? What projects are you most excited to tackle first?

In this newly created role, I’m charged with developing our department’s internal and external communications strategy and implementing an equity plan across all divisions. One of the most gratifying aspects of this opportunity has been all of the organic staff-driven work preceding my arrival. The Planning Department is fortunate to have so many bright, thoughtful and committed team members who want to deepen their impact. In the short term, I’m incredibly excited to enhance our communications program and social media presence. In the longer term, I am looking forward to working with staff and other city government partners to create a curriculum to help communities more effectively engage in the planning process.

Most recently, you directed the advocacy and public policy work for a public health non-profit, and prior to that, you were an advocate for clean air as a staff member of Earthjustice. How do you anticipate your experiences will inform your work here in Baltimore?

My work experiences have always been focused on improving the lives of people and their communities. Whether I was fighting for stronger clean air regulations or mental health resources for college students, strong messaging and partnerships were critical to advancing policy. This often meant creating and working within coalitions. Every member of a coalition does not have the same organizational capacity, mission or bandwidth. These same competing resources, visions and capacity are also present across city government. I look forward to connecting with stakeholders to develop strategies for embedding the equity lens across the work of city agencies.

What recommendation from the Equity Committee's Equity Action Plan do you most hope to see realized?

Deepening our agency’s community ties, connections and engagement is critical to applying an equity lens to our work. I look forward to helping community members understand our agency’s role, responsibilities and the tools available to help them be proactive in the planning process. Our agency understands that today’s planning is happening in the wake of generations of racially and socially unjust practices. The work of “un-planning” this inequity will be difficult but it must be done in order to create the truly livable, sustainable and thriving city we desire and that our communities deserve.

Now that we know so much about your current job, what was your very first job? (a fun question!)

I worked at Dairy Queen on the Boardwalk in Virginia Beach. Serving ice cream and cold treats on hot days was a great introduction to the world of work. Everyone was in a good mood!

New Report Released: Food System Resilience in Baltimore

Baltimore’s Food Policy Initiative partnered with researchers at the Center for a Livable Future to release a new report outlining actions that the City can take to protect access to food in the event of a natural or human-made disaster. The researchers drew upon 36 interviews with community members, local businesses, food assistance organizations and government agencies to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Baltimore’s food system. They also used GIS mapping to analyze data and inform their recommendations.

Strategies recommended by the report included designating food facilities in each neighborhood and exploring alternative transportation methods for accessing foods. The full report can be now accessed via the Center for a Livable Future’s website here.

Upcoming Events

August 12 - Baltimore African American Festival

Baltimore's African American Festival will be at Druid Hill Park on Saturday, August 12, 2017. Join for art, music, food and entertainment!

Link to the event

August 14 - Made in Baltimore Pop Up

Made in Baltimore's latest project is a pop up shop at the Eubie Blake Center, in collaboration with the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy. Amaphiko Academy is an accelerator program for social entrepreneurs. The opening party is on August 14th.

Link to the event

August 17 and September 7 - Planning Commission

The Planning Commission plays a key role in the development process. This group meets regularly to review plans and proposals pertinent to the physical development of Baltimore City. The meetings are open to the public.

Link to the event

September 27 - WorkBaltimore at Baltimore Convention Center

On Wednesday, September 27th, the City of Baltimore and the Department of Human Resources will host WorkBaltimore at the Baltimore Convention Center. This event is designed to connect Baltimore City residents to employers in the area. Over the month leading up to this event, the City will offer job-readiness workshops and related activities.

Link to the event

city of baltimore

Catherine E. Pugh,

Baltimore City Planning

417 E. Fayette Street, 8th Floor

Baltimore, Maryland 21202


department of planning

Thomas J. Stosur,