Placemaking Week 2024
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Friday, June 7 • 2:00pm - 3:15pm
PANEL: Retrofitting Suburbia through Placemaking: Equitable economic development along the Blue Line Corridor

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In 2020, Prince George County’s commissioned HR&A Advisors, Design Collective, and Toole Design Group to develop a long-range vision and implementation strategy for the Blue Line Corridor. A 6-mile stretch along Central Avenue served by four stations on Metro’s Blue Line – Capitol Heights, Addison Road-Seat Pleasant, Morgan Boulevard, and Downtown Largo – the Corridor is auto-centric and suburban with significant undeveloped publicly-owned land, presenting a unique opportunity for TOD and economic development. The County’s objective was to stimulate place-based economic development by creating dense, walkable, mixed-use communities – a typology common throughout the Washington region but largely absent in Prince George’s County. The strategy underpinning this vision was grounded in placemaking – invest public resources into multimodal infrastructure, the public realm, and anchor institutions that would attract the type of dense, mixed-use development with commercial amenities and a sense of identity the County sought. Critically, this vision also sought to uplift, reinforce, and build the existing community and culture rather than replacing that existing fabric with a manufactured new “place.” The vision articulates how the County wants to develop the Corridor over the next 30 years and serves as a replicable model for place-based economic development applicable across the County. Debuted in County Executive Angela Alsobrook’s 2021 State of the County address, the vision has helped secure $440M in State funding to date for capital improvement projects and sparked an influx of private development activity.  It will take years of continued effort and investment for the BLC vision to come to fruition. However, as this session will illustrate, the successes witnessed to date, as well as challenges experienced along the way, provide valuable lessons for how other suburban jurisdictions can leverage placemaking to drive equitable economic development.

avatar for Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke

Director of Strategy, Toole Design
avatar for Adam Dodgshon

Adam Dodgshon

Planning Supervisor, M-NCPPC
Adam has been supervisor of the Placemaking Section since May 2019. He has almost 30 years' experience as a planner, at first in England and now here in the US. Adam loves working with his team and the community to make the county a happier place.
avatar for Jared Press

Jared Press

Principal, HR&A Advisors
avatar for Angie Rodgers

Angie Rodgers

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Prince George's County Government
avatar for MacKenzie Twardus

MacKenzie Twardus

Associate, Design Collective

Friday June 7, 2024 2:00pm - 3:15pm EDT
MICA - Fox Building, Room 220 (2nd Floor)