​​ Smart Growth Subcabinet​​


Sarah Abel​, SEED, RSP1
​Chief Sustainable Growth Officer
​​Office of the Secretary
Maryland Department of Planning
301 W. Preston Street, 11th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
443.934.2482, cell
410.767.4500, main​


Subcabinet Legislative Assignments

This page contains reports, plans, and studies assigned to the Subcabinet by the Governor or General Assembly to help guide and advance sustainable growth la​​nd use and development across Maryland.

The Maryland the Beautiful Act​

The Maryland the Beautiful Act (CH546) of 2023 established ambitious land conservation goals: conserve 30% of the state by 2030 (30 by 30) and conserve 40% of the state by 2040 (40 by 40). Through the combined efforts of state agencies, local governments, the federal government, and nonprofit land trusts, the first goal to conserve 30% of Maryland land (1,856,889 of 6,189,629 land acres) was already achieved in 2024, well in advance of the 2030 goal year. Thus, the Maryland the Beautiful Chapter 546 Smart Growth Subcabinet Five-Year Plan (Maryland the Beautiful Plan) focuses on efforts towards the second goal to conserve 40% of the land in Maryland by 2040. 

The Maryland the Beautiful Act requires the Smart Growth Subcabinet (soon to be Sustainable Growth Subcabinet) to develop and publish the first five-year plan by July 1, 2024 to outline how to meet the goals in the legislation, provide an annual report on the state’s progress, and​ update the plan at least every five years through 2040. The first Maryland the Beautiful Plan can be found at the link below.​

This Plan provides an overview of progress to date, a summary of land conservation programs in Maryland, an evaluation of challenges and opportunities​​ facing land conservation in Maryland, and initial actions for next steps as the Smart Growth Subcabinet coordinates efforts to work towards the second goal to conserve 40 by 40. 

The 40 by 40 goal should be tightly coupled with existing state priorities to ensure strategic conservation. Conserved lands are critically important to support working farms and forests, protect natural resources, provide public access to open space throughout the state, advance environmental justice for underserved and overburdened communities, increase climate resilience and mitigation, and improve water quality.

The Subcabinet must also complete an annual report on the state's progress toward meeting the conservation goals and actions outlined in the Maryland t​​he Beautiful Plan by December 1, 2024, and then annually thereafter. 

You can view that latest data and mapping of land con​​servation across Maryland via the Maryland Protected Lands Dashboard.

Preservation and Disposition of M​aryland’s Histori​c Complexes​

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