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Joe Nathanson

Nov 30, 2023

Biden’s infrastructure law 2 years in

Nov. 15 marked the second anniversary of the signing into law of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The scale of this infusion of federal funds — $1.2 trillion – brings to mind major historic investments in the nation’s past: the building of the Erie Canal early in the 19th century; the rural electrification […]

Aug 25, 2023

Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm serves many needs

The Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm in Baltimore serves so many needs, beyond just providing a source of healthy foods for local residents.

Jul 27, 2023

Relaunching the Red Line

On June 15, Gov. Wes Moore, together with federal, state and local officials, business leaders, and community representatives standing at the West Baltimore MARC station, announced his commitment to building the Red Line, the east-west transit service through the center of the Baltimore region. This represented a restart of a process that was terminated by […]

May 25, 2023

Too much, too little, too toxic: Concerns about water will influence development

Concerns about water, whether too much, too little, or too dirty, will increasingly impact land use and development in the years and decades ahead.

Apr 28, 2023

Rethinking zoning

With Earth Day 2023 having just passed, it brings to mind how we are dealing with the Earth – more specifically, how we are making use of our land resources. How we use land and how we control the use of land have been  contentious matters over the years. The application of zoning, the use […]

Oct 27, 2022

The Road Wars that started in the 1960s are not over

In the years following World War II, with a growing economy and the vast expansion of automobile ownership, there was broad support for investment in highways that would knit the country together. While there was already 1944 legislation envisioning a 40,000-mile system of highways on the books, it took the leadership of President Dwight D. […]

May 5, 2022

Maryland already is confronting the climate crisis

Another Earth Day has come and gone. For over 50 years we have marked April 22 as a reminder of the obligations we have to protect the environment for the benefit of all life on the planet. But here in Maryland, we don’t need a date on the calendar. The signs have been all around. […]

Mar 25, 2022

A planned community matures

The plaque had been missing for some months. But, a few days ago, it reappeared in its new location near the newly reconfigured entrance to the Village of Cross Keys in north Baltimore. The plaque sits in front of a sculpture dedicated to the founder of Cross Keys, James W. Rouse. The inscription of the […]

Aug 26, 2021

Another take on the 2020 Census

The 2020 U.S. Census data release, known as P.L. 94-174, made headlines locally and nationally when it was made available earlier this month. Attention has rightfully focused on the use of the data for its intended purpose – the drawing of new boundaries for state legislative districts across the country and for carving out new […]

Apr 29, 2021

Hoping for a rail revival in Baltimore

One of my earliest childhood memories is that of being lost … in New York City’s Pennsylvania Station. It was only a brief time that my four-year-old self was separated from my mother, but I certainly felt then and remember today the vastness of that space. And then, in 1963, that magnificent train station was […]

Mar 25, 2021

Our changing America

The recent tragic events in Atlanta have had me thinking about a consulting assignment I undertook in the region about 15 years ago. The Atlanta Regional Commission, the regional planning entity with responsibility for a 10-county metro area, was assessing the area’s growing diversity. Atlanta had been selected to host the 1996 Olympic Games. That […]

Feb 25, 2021

Opening doors in Md. with housing opportunities

Among his earliest childhood memories, Brian McLaughlin recalls riding his little bike and playing in the green spaces afforded by his Columbia, Maryland, neighborhood. I had a chance to interview McLaughlin recently after hearing him speak about his new role as president of the Communities Division for Enterprise Community Development, Inc. McLaughlin recounts how his […]

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