Baltimore's Big Idea: Schools as the Center of Neighborhood Transformation

The city of Baltimore is taking a new approach to an old idea: that schools should be the center of neighborhoods.

August 19, 2015, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Davin Hong pens an op-ed supporting the 21st Century Schools Building Plan as a way to overcome the massive economic and social challenges facing Baltimore's inner city neighborhoods.

According to Hong, "[t]he funding for the plan to rebuild dozens of schools in the next several years is a landmark victory for Baltimore that instills hope that positive outcomes for all city students is possible." The plan essentially enables the construction and programming that centers schools at the center of neighborhoods. Hong explains: "Utilizing the school construction as leverage, investments, projects and programs can be coordinated to bring resources in and around the schools to strengthen neighborhoods and catalyze transformation. Within compact "Community Investment Zones," programs, services, and amenities can be concentrated to create vibrant mixed-use town centers that become the heart of each neighborhood."

Hong describes a case study he is working on with the Neighborhoods Design Center in the neighborhood of Cherry Hill, in partnership with the Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's INSPIRE program and the city's Department of Planning.

Monday, August 17, 2015 in The Baltimore Sun

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