What Are The New Town Work Sessions?

November 25, 2020

Roughly 53 years after its founding, greater Columbia has grown into an established community with a vast number of stakeholders and property owners. As an organization, Columbia Association (CA) believes that Mr. Rouse was ahead of his time and would desire for his community to remain so, always evolving as an example of a model community and responding to the needs and wishes of each successive generation. In order to move Columbia forward into the future, it is important to build a consensus among CA’s leadership as to what makes Columbia a unique and desirable community, as well as identify where change is needed.

In 2020, Howard County, Maryland began undertaking a General Plan rewrite, several elements of which will focus specifically on the NT-zoned portions of Columbia and its unique character. Ultimately, this General Plan will set the stage for county-wide Comprehensive Rezoning in the coming years. As a major stakeholder in this process, it is necessary that CA leadership understand the planning vision that shaped the founding of Columbia, have knowledge of modern planning principles and practices that are effective in established master planned communities today, and a readiness to apply these concepts to the Columbia community where appropriate.

Columbia Association hired a consultant team to lead an in-house exercise that facilitated CA Board’s and guest village representatives’ knowledge of the overarching planning principles espoused during the creation of Columbia and other notable master planned communities in the United States. The consultant team designed workshops to educate and facilitate discussions among participants of the work session on these topics, including discussion of the planning principles and practices that are applicable to redevelopment, reinvestment, and preservation of mature master planned communities.

As a direct result of these work sessions, the consultant team and participants have identified the “big picture” goals and priorities for greater Columbia and drafted policy language that will be the foundation for CA’s participation in the General Plan and other planning processes. CA believes such a foundation will give the CA Board, senior staff and others the knowledge to advocate for and support policies and objectives that will reestablish the community as an example of great planning, continuing its legacy as a desirable place to live, work, and play across all ages, income brackets and cultures.

Want to watch previous or upcoming New Town Work Sessions? Visit the CA Live YouTube page to watch all the past and upcoming New Town Work Session meetings.

Share this post