Will Walkable Urbanism Transform a Pioneering New Town Into a "Real City"

Visionary developer James W. Rouse always wanted his planned community in Howard County, Maryland to be a "real city". As Columbia nears 50, a 30-year plan and new development seeks to fill in the community's "doughnut hole" with walkable density.

"Fifty years after [James W.] Rouse announced that his company had bought 14,100 acres in Howard County and was going to build a planned community, the latest effort to fulfill that aspiration has just begun," reports Arthur Hirsch. "Construction sites have sprung up from the northwest side of The Mall in Columbia down to the edge of Lake Kittamaqundi as part of a 30-year plan to remake the Town Center into a more walkable space with more apartment buildings, offices and stores."

"'Columbia has not achieved its full potential yet, and it won't achieve it until there is an alive downtown. ... That's the missing piece,' said Padraic Kennedy, who was Rouse's choice to be the first president of the Columbia Association, the nonprofit organization that maintains open space and an array of community services, swimming pools and recreation centers."

Full Story: At 50, vision for Columbia is still a work in progress

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