What Is It? >> Governor's Speech
Introduction to PlanMaryland
by Governor O'Malley
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PlanMaryland Public Forums II: The Open Houses
Eight PlanMaryland Open Houses were held in May and June 2011 to provide the public the opportunity to find out about the PlanMaryland draft. Click here for more.
Talking points of the Governor's speech
Wherever it is that you live, work or play in Maryland, Iím sure that you share my vision for prosperous and vibrant communities for our families and for the preservation of our precious natural and historic resources.
The need for sound long-term planning has long been recognized in Maryland. Way back in 1933, the State General Assembly created one of the first state planning commissions in the country to coordinate Depression-era public works programs.
Reports of that era show how Marylandís leaders even then grappled with growth trends and the impact on our stateís ample water and agricultural assets. Marylandís leaders then could not have imagined life more than seven decades later, but it was clear that they were already concerned about managing what they described as a "suburban explosion."
But those long-standing concerns about the impact of sprawl have not gone away. And new concerns have joined them Ė about energy conservation and public health. Development patterns so reliant on autos have contributed to the distressing rise in heart disease and obesity in adults and children.
This year, Marylandís population will reach 5.7 million people. It is expected to grow by 1 million more residents during the next 20 years. Where will all these people live and work, and how will they get to their jobs? What impact will this have on our existing communities, our job centers, and on our natural resources and our transportation systems?
PlanMaryland is the Stateís first plan for sustainable growth and development. It will emphasize planning that encourages us to be more efficient and less wasteful of valuable resources.
Maryland has been a leader nationally in smart growth and land preservation. Weíve employed some of the most sophisticated mapping techniques in the country to develop AgPrint, GreenPrint and soon GrowthPrint to better focus the conservation of our resources.
At current trends, about 560,000 additional acres will be developed in Maryland during the next 20 years. Thatís the equivalent land of all of Prince Georgeís and Anne Arundel counties combined. Under a smart growth scenario, the impact could be limited to less than one-third of that. That would impact fewer watersheds, agricultural and natural resource land. And it would make more economical use of our roads, schools and other public infrastructure.
We need more coordination and greater efficiency among state agencies toward that objective. PlanMaryland will provide that focus, with collaboration from local governments. It will not supplant local planning. Rather, it will help inform local plans and local plans will also help shape it.
Your input is vitally important in creating the plan itself. We need your help in shaping a vision that can chart a course for many decades.
I have asked the Secretary of Planning, Richard Hall, to hold public forums throughout our State during the coming year to hear from you about how we can best implement the goals enacted in our Smart, Green & Growing legislation last year. The Planning Department is also using social networking and other new media to gather input. You can access more information at Plan (dot) Maryland (dot) gov.
Anticipating and integrating long-term economic, environmental and social needs is essential if weíre to leave a greener, healthier, prosperous and sustainable Maryland to our children and grandchildren and their children. I thank you for your participation and your help in shaping our future.
This page was last updated: 2011-06-24