2018 National Planning Conference

Restoring People While Rebuilding Properties

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. CDT

Location: 206

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188200


  • How to create a robust, community-centered engagement process that empowers residents of a disenfranchised neighborhood by teaching them about planning practices, terminology, and process
  • How planners engaged a community that has been underserved (and, recently, under national scrutiny as the center of civil unrest)
  • The value of consensus building from a community-engagement perspective


For decades, the Broadway East neighborhood has struggled with some of the highest vacancy and poverty rates in Baltimore. Economic disinvestment, housing abandonment, and crime have left the community destitute. While many residents have fled over the past few decades, a number of lifelong citizens and institutions remain, anchoring the neighborhood with hope and memories of a past vibrant village. In response to the Spring 2015 unrest that garnered national attention following the death of Freddie Gray, Reverend Donte Hickman, a neighborhood leader, met with Ayers Saint Gross, a planning firm. The need for a clear, collective vision and master plan for the future was evident, and it was essential that this vision be founded on community input. The public outreach was a comprehensive, three-step process, focused on empowering residents by teaching them about planning practices, terminology, and process. While the plan is founded on community input, the overall engagement extends across the city, through both the public and private sectors, building consensus, support, and resources for future development. With corporate partners, city leaders, and community members on board, development is beginning to take off at the fearless hands of Reverend Hickman and bold vision of this master plan.

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Session Speakers

Donte Hickman
Southern Baptist Church
Baltimore, MD

Adam A. Gross
Ayers Saint Gross
Baltimore, MD

Amber Wendland, AICP
Ayers Saint Gross
Baltimore, MD

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