Making Place: Transit-Oriented Development for Largo, MD
Townsend, Sim Deane
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Largo, MD is a city of 12,000 people at the intersection of the Beltway and the Metropolitan DC Blue Line. It is currently being planned as the future center of the Prince George’s County Government and the home of the new University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center. The overall site has exceptional access to transit and offers myriad ways to travel but in itself lacks appeal as a “place”. It has developed as a suburban “Edge City” on the outskirts of the District of Columbia, a simple automobile-oriented pit stop in-between the jobs and sights of the national capital and the dwellings of those who work and visit. As part of the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS), The Prince George’s County Department of Planning approached the University of Maryland’s Program in Architecture with a request to investigate the Largo metro site as a more fully realized transit-oriented development hosting a full mix of uses, from the new seat of the county’s government to the new hospital and residential development. The studio focused on questions of place, development, and identity while grappling with the fragmented pattern of development that currently defines Largo. The studio proposals demonstrate the potential of a new identity for the area using transit oriented design principles, restoration of the natural environment, and making Largo a “green jewel of a town” at the heart of Prince George’s County.
Final project for ARCH700: Urban Design Studio VII(Fall 2019). University of Maryland, College Park.