This is a Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development requirement. Areas of the City placed under the Sustainable Communities designation are eligible to receive consolidated priority funding toward community development, revitalization and sustainability. The designation is also a threshold requirement for application to certain state programs such as Community Legacy and the Strategic Demolition Fund.
Approved Sustainable Community Area through 2023
Five years ago, the City completed its first Sustainable Communities application to take advantage of the new geographic designation established under the Sustainable Communities Act of 2010 that promotes the efficient use of scarce State resources based on local sustainability and revitalization strategies. The Sustainable Communities designation places special emphasis on infrastructure improvements, multimodal transportation, and smart growth or development that is sustainable.
The renewal application for the Sustainable Communities update is broken up into three parts:
- Qualitative Assessment - implementation successes and challenges over the past 5 years specifically in relation to what was recommended in the first Sustainable Communities Plan.
- Comprehensive Assessment - indicators that capture accomplishments through common outcomes identified in various approved Sustainable Community Action Plans.
- Action Plan Update - strategic set of revitalization initiatives and projects that local partners believe will increase the economic vitality and livability of the community, increase prosperity for local households and improve the health of the surrounding environment.
Each of them are divided into various sections, but are all organized by six themes throughout:
- Quality of Life
- Local Planning and Land Use
Collectively they paint a picture of a community that is healthy, distinguished, diverse, affordable and sustainable.