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Feb 18 10

County Planners Launch Blog Focusing on Community Design

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – Buildings, streets and spaces don’t just happen, they are created by our laws and lifestyles. And to really understand them, we need to take a closer look.

Join our planners in observing community design – the look of buildings, streets and spaces – in our new design blog, The Straight Line

The blog examines building form, sustainability, energy use, public art, and the interaction of people and places. Our planners and architects will contribute their thoughts every few weeks on what’s been built, what should be built and what could have been built better.

Initial posts cover public art uncovered in Silver Spring, food trucks, pedestrian challenges, a green apartment building in Portland, Oregon, and architecture along Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring. From the specific – an energy-efficient mixed-use building with a distinctively colored exterior – to the general – how hard it is to be a pedestrian in much of Montgomery County – the posts will get people thinking. Accompanying our missives are plenty of photos and related links.

Visit The Straight Line frequently to express your views.

Mar 3 09

County Planning Department Launches Web Site Featuring Realistic Views of Proposed Development

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – County planners have created a series of new web pages that, by showcasing three-dimensional and animated views of proposed development, provides detailed depictions of what may come to area communities.

By providing a portal to views of pending projects, including information about building heights, square footage and the mix of uses, DesignMontgomery will engage Montgomery County residents and others in a discussion about good design. The site shows current or recently approved projects, public buildings and spaces, and other design issues.

The site features four projects – three privately developed and one public project – with three-dimensional and/or animated views. The innovative angles allow web visitors to envision how a building will fit on a site. Planners will update pages with new projects in the coming months.

The site is intended to inform the public about upcoming development as well as engage people interested in architecture and design. Web visitors may rate and comment upon what they see in an online forum intended to elevate the issue of design throughout Montgomery County.

For example, DesignMontgomery offers views of the Silver Spring Library proposed for Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street in the community’s Fenton Village area. For that project, urban design planners have posted their vision for how to best integrate the library into Fenton Village in addition to the design perspectives created by the County Executive’s office.

The site also features three developments pending in downtown Silver Spring.