Tag: thrive 2050

Joint Statement on OLO Initial RESJ Review of Thrive 2050

Joint Statement on OLO Initial RESJ Review of Thrive 2050

The Coalition for Smarter Growth, Montgomery for All, Audubon Naturalist Society, Montgomery Housing Alliance, and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association believe in the overarching vision of Thrive 2050, which promotes equity and sustainability through affordable housing, more housing options, improved transit, walkable communities that improve access to jobs, and more.

RELEASE: CSG Responds to Anti-Housing Protesters at Planning Board

Montgomery County, Md – “Montgomery County’s Thrive 2050 General Plan update is imbued with the progressive and creative spirit that has long been at the core of the community’s values,” said Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG). “This is why we are so saddened to see the strident opposition to the county’s efforts to address a housing crisis through Thrive 2050 and a separate study of Attainable Housing Strategies.”

Take Action: How should we live in 2050?

Do you want to be able to easily walk, bike, or hop on a bus? Wouldn’t it be great if it were easy to find a great place to live that doesn’t stretch your budget? How can we make sure our neighborhoods are resilient in the face of climate change?

For nearly two years, Montgomery County has been working on a new general plan called Thrive Montgomery 2050, a blueprint for how and where the county will grow over the next 30+ years. Now, it’s up to the County Council whether or not to maintain and strengthen the Planning Board’s bold vision.

Send an email to your councilmembers to support Thrive 2050!

We believe the Planning Board has done a great job embracing smart growth as the most sustainable and equitable way for Montgomery County to grow and provide opportunities for everyone. On its own, Thrive doesn’t change any laws, but it will set the policy agenda for the County Council, influence the Planning Department’s work program, and impact all future master plans. It’s absolutely critical for the future! 

Use this form to tell your councilmembers that you support a vision for Montgomery County that is more affordable, equitable, sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous. You can read the Planning Board’s draft of Thrive and learn more about the plan here, and learn about CSG’s Thrive 2050 campaign here.

Take action on Thrive 2050, new Montgomery County’s General Plan

Take action on Thrive 2050, new Montgomery County’s General Plan

Sustainable, efficient, equitable land use is core to a healthy future and ensuring a high quality of life for everyone. For nearly two years, Montgomery County has been working on a new general land use plan called Thrive 2050, a blueprint for how and where the county will grow over the next 30+ years.

CSG Testimony: Thrive 2050 to County Council

CSG Testimony: Thrive 2050 to County Council

We strongly support the Planning Board’s draft of Thrive 2050, although we urge you to further strengthen certain areas. Thrive creates a vital blueprint for a county that is more affordable, walkable, prosperous, resilient, and racially and economically integrated, and recognizes that the best way to achieve that vision is through embracing the principles of inclusive smart growth, urbanism, and equitable transit-oriented development. 

The decisions you will make in this document will have generational implications for how we live, work, and play. The world in 2050 will be very different no matter what — the question is whether we allow our communities to evolve in order to preserve what we value the most: diversity, sustainability, affordability, prosperity, equity, and social mobility. 

Sign-on Letter to the Montgomery Planning Board Re: Thrive 2050 Outreach

August 12th, 2020 

Dear Montgomery Planning Board, 

The coalition of organizations and individuals undersigned request additional outreach activities for the upcoming release of the working draft plan of Thrive Montgomery 2050. Many of our organizations have worked with the planning staff and have seen their diligent and innovative ways of conducting outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, community leaders and organizations working with highly impacted communities see an interest and a need to take additional action in order to fully engage all communities. The communities of color that have been the most affected by COVID-19 in our county are the same communities where more Thrive 2050 outreach is needed, and comments are missing. 

It is our understanding that the Montgomery Planning Department intends to release the working draft plan of Thrive Montgomery 2050 on September 24th, hold a Planning Board review meeting on October 1st, hold a public hearing on November 19th, and maybe allow the public to submit comments until two weeks after the public hearing.1 We propose the following extensions, recommendations, and additional outreach strategies. 

• A working draft in both English and Spanish least 30 days before the November public hearing. 

• We ask for a second public hearing that is scheduled 30 to 45 days after the working draft plan has been released in Spanish. 

• Create more live multi-bilingual / bilingual outreach opportunities to have bilingual discussions between community members and planners on all sections of the working draft plan. 

• Conduct in-person outreach that is safe, outdoors, and physically distant, such as at food distribution centers/ hubs and at parks across the county. 

• Create and simultaneously release one-page multilingual informational fact sheets that highlight key sections and points of the working draft plan. Additionally work closely with community organizers to disseminate information and conduct community outreach on the working draft plan. 

We appreciate and thank the Planning Board for the opportunity to provide feedback on the working draft plan. We look forward to continuing to be partners in the Thrive 2050 conversation and find new and innovative ways to conduct outreach. 

1 Thrive 2050 Public Comment Timeline. (Last Updated on August 4th, 2020). Available from: https://montgomeryplanning.org/planning/master-plan-list/general-plans/thrive-montgomery-2050/ 


Denisse Guitarra

Maryland Conservation Advocate

Audubon Naturalist Society 

RELEASE: Courageous Conversations discuss the history of racial segregation in Montgomery County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 10, 2020

CONTACT: Jane Lyons, Coalition for Smarter Growth

jane@smartergrowth.net | (410) 474-0741

Courageous Conversations discuss the history of racial segregation in Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Md. — This Saturday, the Coalition for Smarter Growth will host the first in a series of three Courageous Conversations on Housing, Land Use, and Racism, about the history of redlining and racial segregation in Montgomery County. Over 150 community members are expected to attend and participate in facilitated group discussions.

Each workshop will feature a presentation on the history of discriminatory federal housing policy and an explanation of the local housing and land use history in one of three areas of the county: East County (8/15), Bethesda-Chevy Chase (8/22), and Upcounty (8/29). The workshops are sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and will be facilitated by Challenging Racism. 

After the presentations and small group discussions, Montgomery County residents will share their personal experiences of how racial segregation impacted their lives. 

Robert Stubblefield, a poet and local activist, will share his story about growing up Black in eastern Montgomery County. “One of the things I hope comes out of this is that the past is never past. It is always present. What we experience when we are younger plays a role and influences us every day,” he said. 

The discussion will also cover how residential segregation impacts schools and student experiences. “In Montgomery County, three quarters of our Black and Hispanic students attend our highest poverty public schools, excluding them from myriad opportunities available to lower poverty school students,” said Jill Ortman-Fouse, a former school board member.

Councilmembers Tom Hucker, Andrew Friedson, and Hans Riemer will also share their perspectives on the policy changes that have been made to create a more inclusive county, and what still needs to happen.

Finally, Jane Lyons, the Maryland Advocacy Manager at the Coalition for Smarter Growth, will discuss how residents can continue a dialogue about these issues, including by getting involved with the county’s new general plan update and local organizations advocating for racial justice in land use and housing.

“Many people don’t know the history of how government policy intentionally segregated our neighborhoods, and that legacy continues today,” said Lyons. “In order to plan for the future, we have to understand the history that got us here.”


The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington, DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish.