Creating a Defined Urban Core Just Outside the Nation's Capitol

Montgomery County planner John Marcolin details the ongoing creation of an urban core in Silver Spring, Maryland, the thriving unincorporated area just northeast of Washington, D.C.
February 2, 2013, 5am PST | sbuntin
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Downtown Silver Spring lies at the heart of the Silver Spring central business district (CBD), an unincorporated, 250-acre transit-oriented urban area located just northeast of Washington, D.C., in Montgomery County, Maryland. Silver Spring’s core was at one time a non-descript area of parking lots, aging retail, office buildings, and boarded-up storefronts. It is now a thriving, mixed-use town center within an arts and entertainment district. The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority maintains a Red Line Metro station within a five-minute walk of the city center, and a multimodal transit center–featuring access to subway, train, local and regional bus lines, taxi service, a future light rail line, and bicycle trails–is nearing completion.

Today, Silver Spring is a rapidly redeveloping and vibrant city featuring a mix of public plazas and open space, offices, housing, hotel, retail, entertainment, transit access, and civic uses–all easily accessible on foot thanks to sustained downtown and CBD redevelopment efforts by public and private entities alike.

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Published on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 in Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments
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