Empowering Youths Key to Improving Baltimore's Inner Harbor

An innovative planning project engages Baltimore's youth in developing concepts for making the city's Inner Harbor an enjoyable place for tourists, shoppers, and teens.
May 31, 2013, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Baltimore teens Rickya'h Brooks and Marquise Robinson never really feel welcome at the Inner Harbor," writes Yvonne Wenger. "They say police cast a judgmental eye on all kids who go there, especially African-Americans. And they're frustrated that the waterfront mall provides little entertainment for young people and restricts their access to shopping."

But a citywide planning effort led by a recent college grad seeks to create a 'safe and inclusive' Inner Harbor by involving youths in developing proposals for the popular tourist destination. 

"The effort was spearheaded by Celia Neustadt, a 23-year-old Charles Village native and recent Pomona College graduate who secured grants and an eventual collaboration with the Waterfront Partnership," notes Wenger.

"Public spaces have the ability to bring together people from different segments of society," Neustadt said. "The young people want the Inner Harbor to be a safe and inclusive public space that local Baltimoreans, tourists and business people feel comfortable with."

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Published on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in The Baltimore Sun
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