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During the academic year and the summer, master’s students in the University of Maryland’s Urban Studies and Planning Program (URSP) are able to fulfil their requirement for a community planning studio. In the studio, students conduct research on a key planning issue or issues in a given study area, based on input from public officials, public agency representatives, community activists and other stakeholders. The students design the research strategy, collect and analyze primary and secondary data, and produce a written report with findings and recommendations. This summer 2015 studio report is somewhat different from previous studio documents. The report was created in the same academic year in which the University of Maryland premiered its Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) program. Created by the University’s National Center Smart Growth Research and Education in 2014, PALS offers the opportunity for UMD faculty and students to explore – and make recommendations for addressing – challenges identified by a city or county in Maryland related to economic opportunity, environmental quality and/or social equity. The jurisdiction selected to be the site for the premier year of the PALS program was the City of Frederick. From September of 2014 through August of 2015, thirty (30) UMD classes focused part or all of their attention on a sustainability-related issue or challenge that the City requested to be studied. In April of 2015, the City also completed a draft sustainability plan. This studio report consists of a suggested sustainability plan for the City of Frederick. The report builds on the City’s draft sustainability plan by expanding the current plan elements; adding material related to economic opportunity and social equity considerations; adding two new plan elements (economic development and housing); and drawing on material from other selected PALS class reports. The students hope that the City officials and planners, and others who actively participated in creating the current sustainability plan draft, will find it useful in their efforts.
Final project for Urban Studies and Planning Studio (Summer 2015). University of Maryland, College Park.