The 606 trail lays out a blueprint, a plan, for how cities can piece together moving parts, across fiefdoms and agencies, and build something for all its residents. "Take note, Baltimore. If you build it, and if it is accessible, people will indeed come."
On April 22nd, Milwaukee was announced as one of the six 2015 Heart of the Community cities. Over the next six months, the local project team and PPS used “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” (LQC) Placemaking principles to ensure that the The Spot 4MKE continued to be a collaborative, inclusive, and community-led project.
Gray to vibrant: The transformed parking lot still a humble place, but it is full of evidence of a community that is trying to do things differently, a community that has the courage to lead with people and places, a community that understands that the project of making a more creative, inclusive, and prosperous city will never be finished.
A report from the 2015 Walking Summit: "The movement is expanding from walking as a way to improve public health to walking as a human and civil right, a moral imperative. A community that is walkable for everyone means less disenfranchisement and more connection.”
Murthy told an overflowing crowd of 500 people from 44 states that, “we need to improve infrastructure in communities to make walking easier.” It’s about justice, he emphasized. It’s about making sure “everyone in America has a good shot at being healthy.”
The Baltimore County Council is currently considering legislation that would phase out the county’s stormwater utility fee. The Importance of the Fee This fee pays for projects and programs designed to improve water quality in the county’s streams and rivers, reduce neighborhood flooding, and...
"The County Council says that the county has the money to continue to fund these programs through 2020. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, however says the county does not have the money to continue to fund these programs."
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is warning the Baltimore County Council that its plan to phase out the county's stormwater fees could violate state law — unless officials first spell out how they will pay for required environmental projects.
"the bay foundation noted that state law requires the county to first send a plan to the Maryland Department of the Environment describing how it will pay for projects to reduce polluted runoff."
The Baltimore County Council has again delayed a decision whether to increase the fees that developers pay when they don't include sufficient open space in their projects.
"The council did unanimously approve a companion bill on Monday from Councilman Tom Quirk, a Catonsville Democrat, which asks the Planning Board to develop a list of priorities for spending money from open space waiver fees" - THANK YOU COUNCILMAN QUIRK
Project-led or design-led development of places misses out on the core function of real Placemaking: the connecting and lifting-up of human spirits.
"Placemaking is not the end product, but a means to an end. It is the process by which a community defines its own priorities. This is something that government officials and self-proclaimed Placemakers ignore at their own peril."
Leaves and twigs crunched under Kelly Rowe's feet as she stepped along rows of gravestones Sunday. She bent down to wipe leaves and dirt from one with her gloved hand, then looked across the thousands in the cemetery, many of them barely visible amid the overgrown brush.
"I hate to think of all these lost souls," Rowe said. "A graveyard's meant to be a place of peace, not something that becomes a dump site."
"This will be the next step to downtown Towson having a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week activity level."
"Towson Row's five-acre footprint is too small to incorporate the amount of open space the county typically requires for the number of residences planned there, Adler said. Under county regulations, the developer can instead pay $55,000 in open space fees, which go toward the county's open space fund, Adler said."
Paul Hartman wasn't expecting the phone call. It came out of the blue, about a week before the event, to inform him that NeighborSpace had chosen him to receive this year's Green Jacket Award.
"Hartman was one of three recipients of the 2015 Green Jacket Award. The others were Michael Ertel, GTCCA's president who has been leading the debate, and Wendy Jacobs, co-founder of the Green Towson Alliance (GTA), an environmental group."
With fish kills estimated at 100,000 in Baltimore County's Middle River, environmental groups say it's a bad time to kill the "rain tax."
Elaine Lutz says with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says stormwater pollution is likely to be the cause of the fish kills. The fish include largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegills, crappies, chain pickerel, pumpkinseed sunfish, carp, killifish and Atlantic menhaden.
The loss of more than 100,000 fish in the Middle River area last week, all victims of toxic algae triggered by warm weather and high nutrient levels, might have seemed an ominous (and entirely appropriate) foreshadowing to the Baltimore County Council's decision to wipe out the county's stormwater remediation fee or "rain tax" a few days later. There's a direct connection between the pollution that runs off county streets, sidewalks, parking lots and other impervious surfaces and fis
" ... the real culprit here was a campaign of disinformation, a false claim that the county was ridiculously "taxing the rain" when it was merely trying to make sure polluters took responsibility for harmful runoff from their property."
The artist’s highly imaginative waterway was created using satellite imagery from NASA
"the American artist, who became famous at 21 years old for winning the design competition to create the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is using the same glimmering spheres to portray the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States."
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"Baltimore County has millions of dollars in unused Program Open Space funding from the state. It is time for the county to follow through on the commitment it made to the residents of Towson in June: preserve the Radebaugh site, and implement a plan for redeveloping the site into a beautiful new park for eastern Towson."
ILCN CONGRESS IN BERLIN CONNECTS LANDCONSERVATIONISTS
FROMAROUND THE GLOBE
In recognition of the growing importance of private and civic land conservation around the globe, conservationists from six continents joined together to mark the official launch of the International Land Conservation Network (ILCN) at the Network's First Congress in Berlin, Germany on October 19-21, 2015. The new network is devoted to connecting people and nongovernmental organizations, building capacity and sharing ideas to promote the more rapid and effective use of civic and private land conservation strategies. The ILCN is a project of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
At the ILCN Congress, more than 100 participants from 27 countries considered initiatives to advance land conservation projects in places as far-flung as New Zealand and New England, South Africa and Spain, China and Argentina, Ghana and Germany, as well as Myanmar, Belize and Armenia, among other countries. Participants benefitted from ideas shared by luminaries such as Christof Schenck (Executive Director of the Frankfurt Zoological Society), Heinrich Botterman (Secretary General of the German Federal Environmental Foundation), and, via videotape, Rand Wentworth, President of the Land Trust Alliance in the United States.
Wentworth pointed out that the growth of the ILCN in part builds on the success of the Land Trust Alliance, which was launched by the Lincoln Institute in 1982. Now an independent organization based in Washington, D.C., the Alliance has grown to represent more than 1,100 land trusts in the United States. "Land trusts have preserved and protected 50 million acres of land in the U.S," said Laura Johnson, Director of the International Land Conservation Network and Board Chair of the Land Trust Alliance.
The formation of the international network comes at a time of great need for land conservation, with an estimated 2 billion hectares of degraded land - an area larger than South America -
available for rehabilitation, according to the United Nations. An additional 12 million hectares are degraded each year. At the Congress, participants explored financial, legal and organizational strategies that help create and maintain privately protected land in different countries and settings. Large, well-established organizations such as The Nature Conservancy compared innovative strategies with colleagues from much smaller and younger groups such as Fundacion Tierra Austral from Chile.
The Network launched with the support of major international policymakers. who sent video greetings to conference participants. "In these times of great challenges for nature conservation, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, it is becoming even more important to unite our efforts across borders, across continents and across the world to strengthen the protection and management of our natural capital," said Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General for Environment of the European Commission (EC). "If we don't work together, we risk irreversible changes in our environment, which will in turn undermine our economic development and the resilience of our societies." Calleja's urgings were taken seriously at the Congress. A highlight of the more than 20 sessions at the Congress was the dialogue among participants that are considering how to work together to frame European efforts to advance private and civic land conservation.
Berlin's Tiergarten in October
Similar policymaker support came from many regions, including Australia, Chile and the United States. "I want to commend the ILCN for their leadership in the global land conservation movement," said United States Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia. "By connecting and empowering nonprofit and private land conservationists around the world, you have the power to make a major impact."
Now that the 2015 Congress has adjourned, the work of the Network turns to a focus on the multi-year strategy, and plans for future meetings in 2016 and 2017. Throughout all of this work, the ILCN will continue to pursue its mission to build private and civic land conservation capacity around the world.
Since last fall, the Audubon Mural Project has decorated 17 roll-down gates and building entrances in the uptown neighborhoods where John James Audubon used to live.
“To me, the idea of a bird is very easily taken as a metaphor for migration and breaking down borders,” Lunar New Year told the New York Times. “I wanted to emphasize all these different birds, different species, coming together as one flock, as we must to save the planet.”
As if the failings of a do-nothing Congress and the continued strife in the Middle East weren't depressing enough, it's been a rough week for those gauging the impact of climate change on Maryland, too. First comes a report that forecasts a big chunk of the state will be underwater by 2100, and then researchers revealed that those rising waters are getting a whole lot warmer a whole lot faster than expected.
Research published one week ago in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences includes an interactive map and readers should check it out atsealevel.climatecentral.org. Here in Baltimore, there's little comfort in knowing that The Sun's own headquarters at 501 N. Calvert St. is mere decades from waterfront status, even less in recognizing that unless Ocean City builds some really high walls or perhaps a dome, its future residents will require scuba gear.
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