October 01, 2002

Forty Years of Fighting Sprawl: Montgomery County, Maryland, and Growth Control Planning in the Metropolitan Region of Washington, D.C.

Lucille Harrigan, Alexander von Hoffman

W02-6: In the early 1960s, representatives of ten planning commissions from the metropolitan region of Washington, D. C. drafted a farsighted plan for the future growth of their territories, which they called "Wedges and Corridors." Inspired by this vision, Montgomery County, Maryland, located on the northwest border of the District of Columbia, in 1964 adopted its own version of the Wedges and Corridors plan, entitled the General Plan for the Year 2000.1 Montgomery County’s plan, like the regional plan, set forth a vision of preserving open spaces in “wedges” while channeling new residential and commercial development into a series of urban centers along the county’s transportation corridors, one of which would contain a proposed mass transit line. The county’s plan eloquently set out a land use policy of "smart growth" almost four decades before that term became a popular buzzword. In the intervening years, the county has developed what is generally acknowledged to be one of the most sophisticated systems of growth management in the United Sates. Supported by an educated citizenry, the county's principal planning institution, the Montgomery County Council, and its principal planning advisors, the Montgomery County Planning Board, have continued to work toward achieving the basic vision of Wedges and Corridors…

Category: Working Papers

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