"Founded as a 'new town' four decades ago by James Rouse, Columbia is still not an incorporated municipality but rather an area, albeit a large one, of Howard County. It encompasses many land uses and nearly 100,000 people but has remained predominantly a bedroom community. Columbia is "sub-urban" and continues to convey a pastoral image, with its low density and curving parkways and streets, and looping drives and cul-de-sacs."
"But that could change if Howard County approves a proposal on the future of Columbia's center."
"General Growth Properties, a Chicago company that owns about 240 acres of the 364-acre Town Center Revitalization District, including the sprawling Mall in Columbia and acres of surface parking, has submitted an ambitious plan to reshape parts of the district into a more urban downtown."