New Town Center for Columbia

An article from the Baltimore Sun: Town aims to redraw its core
One suspects the newspaper article above is not terribly accurate or complete (“Retail and arts space, and possibly an international center for the study of small cities, would front the roadway, replacing the office towers that ring the mall complex area.” … will office really be replaced by art, maybe complemented, but not replaced), but it appears the General Growth Properties plan, which has gone through many iterations, finally begins to account for the Mall as the centerpiece of downtown, and tie it in rather than keeping it separate.
The Howard County govt plan is here (pdf).
My previous posts on Columbia are here, and here.
The meeting is tonight, alas it is not being webcast. The official website is here: Columbia Town Center

Wilde Lake Village Green RIP

Three links about the reconstruction of Wilde Lake Village Center (nee Wilde Lake Village Green in Columbia).
Wilde Lake was the first village in the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, and the Village Green was among the first buildings. And after 40 years, there are plans afoot to gut the center and rebuild it. While the verbal descriptions are not too helpful, it sounds like the standard banal new urbanist insta-downtown writ small (see e.g. Excelsior and Grand in St. Louis Park Minnesota or Rockville Town Square in Maryland) sans grocery store. I have an interest because it was the shopping center of my youth as well as my interest in planning and the history of Columbia. Times change I suppose, and if the market isn’t there for what exists, it must be changed, though maybe the Historic Preservationists have something to say.
Big plans for Wilde Lake: Owner seeks to raze, rebuild village center – Columbia Flier
Reinventing Wilde Lake the aim —
Reinventing Wilde Lake Village Green – Tales Of Two Cities
For my take on what’s become of Columbia, see: Levinson, David (2003) The Next America Revisited. Journal of Planning Education and Research Summer 2003, Volume 22, Number 4, pp. 329-345.

Wincopin Street

I just discovered this blog entry about Columbia and Howard County, Maryland: Howard County Blog: Where would the southern extention of Wincopin Street go?. They seem to have some of the same concerns about the proposed redevelopment of downtown Columbia that I do, in particular development of another north-south axis rather than the east-west axis.
– dml

Researching Irvine

An interesting blog post about the planned community of Irvine Ranch in California from Randall Crane Urban Planning Research: Researching Irvine which discusses Columbia, Maryland as well as the work of my colleague Ann Forsyth.

The Next America Replanned

I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, given the tag line “The Next America” by its planners. A few years ago I wrote a paper about it “The Next America Revisited” which was published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

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