Smart Growth Listening Sessions
About the Listening Sessions
The Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) and the Task Force on the Future for Growth and Development in Maryland hosted a series of public forums throughout Maryland for residents to share their thoughts and ideas on future growth in the state.
These regional meetings, called Smart Growth Listening Sessions, were held at nine central locations in the fall of 2008. The purpose of the Listening Sessions is two-fold – to simply listen and obtain grass-roots information that will guide and inform:
- The Task Force in its statutory role as an advisory body to the Governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet through 2010; and
- MDP in its mission to promote “growth that fosters vibrant, livable communities, preserves and protects the environment, and makes efficient use of State resources.”
MDP will further use this information in the creation of a State Development Plan and in crafting future public involvement.
The Listening Sessions accommodated diverse public input on a variety of growth-related topics including smart sustainable growth; growth and a healthy environment; regional development; historic preservation; transportation and growth; and growth and schools. Moderated by community leaders, they were designed like town hall meetings with open discussion on these important matters.
Over 600 citizens, elected officials and community leaders attended the nine Listening Sessions. Attendees were given two opportunities to weigh in on the issues.
First, they participated in an interactive survey in which each person received an electronic responder, or clicker. Attendees were presented with 18 multiple-choice questions through a slide show. Each person could respond the questions by pressing a button on the clicker that corresponded to their desired answer. Following each question slide, a bar chart showing how the group answered was displayed for the audience providing immediate feedback. To accommodate people who could not come out to the Listening Sessions, the 18 questions were made available as an online survey through MDP’s website.
The dates and locations were:
Lower Eastern Shore Region – Wicomico High School, Salisbury, MD – September 16, 2008
Upper Eastern Shore Region – Queen Anne’s County High School, Centreville, MD – September 17, 2008
Maryland Capital Region – James Hubert Blake High School, Silver Spring, MD – September 18, 2008
Southern Maryland Region – Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Hughesville, MD – September 23, 2008
Central Maryland Region – Woodlawn High School, Woodlawn, MD – September 24, 2008
Western Maryland Region – Bridge of Life Church, Hagerstown, MD – September 25, 2008
Prince George’s County – Bladensburg High School, Bladensburg, MD – October 22, 2008
Northeast Maryland Region – Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, MD – October 28, 2008
Far Western Maryland Region – Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD – December 11, 2008