Maryland Students Honored at 2021 Sustainable Growth Awards

By Maggie Haslam / Sep 24, 2021 / Updated Sep 27, 2021

Columbia, MD
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Photo courtesy of Maggie Haslam.
Lakefront, Columbia MD
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Photo courtesy of Maggie Haslam.

A team of graduate students from the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation will be honored later this fall at the 2021 Maryland Department of Planning’s Sustainable Growth Awards for their work in developing a renewed identity for the New Town of Columbia, Maryland. “Values to Vision: Alternative Futures for Columbia,” which outlines a path towards sustainable and equitable redevelopment in concert with Columbia’s egalitarian values, was developed as part of the Fall 2020 Master of Community Planning studio and overseen by Clinical Professor Uri Avin.

“Planning for the unpredictable forces that shape our communities is a continuous challenge for all communities, regardless of size," said Dawn Jourdan, Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. “Real-world exercises like this studio provide an opportunity for  our students to partner with community residents to explore new and innovative planning strategies that contribute to more sustainable futures.”

The Maryland Sustainable Growth Awards celebrate significant achievements by individuals, businesses, organizations and local governments to realize the 12 planning visions adopted by the Maryland General Assembly. The annual awards promote exemplary work that represents or inspires collaboration, innovation, conservation, community impact and quality of life. The annual awards are presented by the Maryland Department of Planning and are the highest level of recognition for managed growth and development in the state.

Leveraging stakeholder guidance, data analysis and research of comparable New Towns, the student team envisioned four plausible futures for Columbia based on existing zoning and policies, driving forces—such as housing and transportation—and trends like telework, disruptive technologies and ecommerce. One scenario, called renewed identity, was further developed to preserve Columbia’s longstanding values while managing the social, economic, political, environmental and technological forces poised to shape the community’s future. Recommendations included small-scale redevelopment, community programming, proactive transportation policies and rezoning strategies for diverse housing stock.


This year’s ceremony will take place virtually, later this fall.

The Values to Vision team is:

Will Bien Duggan, M.C.P. ‘21
Anusha Jayasinghe, M.C.P. ‘21

Jonathan Katz, M.C.P. ‘21
Melanie Marino, M.C.P. ‘21
Lilian Murnen, M.C.P. ‘21
Julia Rodricks, M.C.P. ‘21

Kenneth Turscak, M.C.P. ‘21
Rachael Warner, M.C.P. ‘21

Program / Center Affiliation