Planning Practice Monthly April Edition

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April Edition

Planning Practice MonthlyPlanning Square Images

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Planning Assistance in Action

Why the U.S. Census is Critical for Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond


When people think of the U.S. Census, they often simply connect it to counting the number of people living in the United States and how those figures will determine the number of representatives serving in various levels of government. While that is certainly one of its primary functions, the reach and impact of Census data goes far beyond the issues of representation to affect countless aspects of American life. U.S. Census numbers are used in a myriad of ways for planning across both the public and private sectors of our society and economy. That’s why it is critical for Maryland to get the most complete Census 2020 count possible -- accounting for every person living in our state.

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Women in Planning Special Series

How Women Have Shaped the Profession as Well as Our Communities: Jane Jacobs (1916 – 2006)


Most of us in planning and related professions know Jacobs for her first and most cherished book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Random House, 1961) – to this day, almost universally required reading for planners early in their academic careers. Most of us were downright awe-struck by her descriptions of how cities work. Further, Jacobs’ analyses of what cities could be and how they should function if given the proper combination of understanding, funding, and deference, were a revelation. Her ideas were like the proverbial hot knife through butter. They were incisive yet commonsensical. Why hadn’t anyone thought of cities before in the ways she so deftly interpreted and explained them?

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Resources and Tools

The Census 2020 Self-Response Dashboard: Track Response Rates in Your Jurisdiction, Across Maryland, and Around the Country

Census Self-Respose

For the first time, respondents to the U.S. Census can complete their Census survey online, by telephone, or the more traditional way, by U.S. Mail. And for the first time, anyone -- from planners, politicians and teachers, health care advocates and private citizens -- wanting to see the results as they unfold, can do so online.

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NEW! Planning Launches Brownfield Redevelopment Assistance Program Webpage


Every county in Maryland has brownfields. They include buildings and sites previously used for dry cleaners, auto body repair, gas stations, manufacturing and industrial uses, as well as buildings with asbestos or lead-based paint issues. Obtaining funding for assessments and cleanup is key to local efforts to transform brownfields into community assets; whether for new businesses, government facilities, parks, or tourism destinations.

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Local Spotlight

New Howard County Stormwater Management Regulations: Leading the Way in Local Responses to High Intensity Storm Events

howard county

Twice in less than two years, in July 2016 and again in May 2018, catastrophic flash floods forever changed the economic and physical landscape of historic Ellicott City, located just 10 miles west of downtown Baltimore. These events were so dramatic and destructive to the former mill town that they attracted national, and even international, attention. Much has been written about the devastation, its causes, and the recovery that followed. But what about the measures taken to mitigate, if not prevent, flash floods from happening again?

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Planning in Progress

We will continue to provide updates about these exciting efforts as they develop in upcoming issues

Digital Planning Directors Roundtable a Success

April 16 PDR

On Thursday, April 16, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) conducted its first ever videoconference Planning Directors Roundtable. With more than 80 attendees, it was a big success! Planning conducts approximately three roundtables a year (it varies), but with the COVID-19 Pandemic, the typical in-person meeting in Crownsville was not an option. Staff from our Planning Data and Research and Planning Coordination Divisions, with a hefty assistance from our Communications staff, used the GoToWebinar platform (which we frequently use for webinars), to host a virtual meeting blending PowerPoints, polling, webcam presentations, and live discussion.

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CARES for Planners

CARES for Planners

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, late last month the Federal Government passed a $2 trillion relief bill known as the CARES Act. This act includes $4.6 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and $12.5 million in homelessness services funding earmarked for Maryland. We understand that time is of the essence in the distribution of these funds to Maryland's communities.

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MPCA Corner

MPCA Seeks Creative Session Proposals for 37th Annual Conference (November 9-10, Westminster)


The MPCA will host the 2020 fall conference at the Best Western in Westminster on November 9-10. The theme of this year’s conference is Contingency Planning and Resilient Boards. As we all feel our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for proactive planning, and the benefits of a resilient citizen planning board to a community, are more apparent than ever. The MPCA is closely monitoring the pandemic and will adjust the fall conference as necessary.

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Meet the Planning Staff

Kristin Fleckenstein


Kristin Fleckenstein joined MDP on February 26th as our new Director of Public Affairs with a primary focus of coordinating Planning’s Census 2020 outreach campaign.

With the Census in full swing, Kristin will be focusing her efforts on ensuring a complete count of all Marylanders through effective marketing efforts.

Read Kristin's Full Profile


Continuing Education & Training


In each newsletter, we highlight the most relevant and timely upcoming events. Our website does include many additional events, so please visit it regularly for updates. Listings are searchable by subject.

Upcoming Conferences and Seminars

Planning related conferences in Maryland and nearby states.

Warning Triangle

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this section is temporarily suspendedFor More Information

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Listed webinars are typically free or low cost and cover a wide range of planning related issues. Many include CM credits.


Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities
Tuesday, April 28 @ 1 p.m.
AICP CM Approved 
For More Information

Craving Community: The Increments of Great Neighborhoods
Friday, May 1 @ 1 pm
AICP CM Approved
For More Information

Click for more on Webinars

Training Around the State

Workshops and classes offered by state agencies or our partners.

Warning Triangle

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this section is temporarily suspendedFor More Information

Click for more on Trainings

Funding Opportunities

Federal, state and/or non-governmental funding.


Maryland Small Business COVID-19
Emergency Relief Grant Fund

Maryland Department of Commerce - Deadline: May 29
For More Information

Resilient Maryland Program
Maryland Energy Administration - Deadline: May 1
For More Information

Click for more on Funding Opportunities