CASE STUDY: Baltimore County, Maryland

CASE STUDY: Baltimore County, Maryland

9/22/15 – Today at the housing Dialogue group, Dr. Bernadette Hanlon presented research that she has done on residential redevelopment patterns in Baltimore County, Maryland. Baltimore County has an urban growth boundary and coordinated countywide planning, making it an interesting case. Dr. Hanlon, an assistant professor of City and Regional Planning at the Knowlton School of The Ohio State University, conducts research focused on older, inner ring suburbs surrounding the city of Baltimore. She has conducted an exploratory study using spatial analysis of redevelopment permits, on-site field documentation, and interviews with planning officials.

The permit activity in Baltimore County includes additions, mansionized rebuilds, and interior work. New development is visible throughout the county in the form of residential subdivisions and condominium developments. Inner suburban residential development and redevelopment is primarily occurring in middle- to upper-class areas, particularly along the waterfront and in neighborhoods built during the postwar period; lower-income and African-American neighborhoods are experiencing far less clustering of redevelopment activity. These activities can potentially impact housing affordability and social sustainability. Dr. Hanlon stressed the importance of considering how individual housing redevelopment can influence neighborhood transformations.

The group briefly discussed the possible applications that this case study might have in the context of central Ohio. While we have fragmented governance and no growth boundary, concerted efforts to plan on a regional scale through organizations like MORPC and through annexation can function in a similar manner to Maryland’s county planning system. We also discussed more generally the potential role of development incentives in sparking activity in areas that are seeing less redevelopment and the ways in which residential and commercial activity