Today is my first day at TheCityFix where I’ll be blogging full-time over the course of the next three months. I graduated from University of Maryland with a degree in Environmental Economics in 2007 and recently completed a stint with the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit land conservation organization that assists all levels of government purchase land for permanent protection. The office I worked in focused on conservation acquisitions in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. With six years living inside the beltway and a lifetime in the Washington-Baltimore Region, I’m no stranger to the serious transportation challenges facing dense, metropolitan regions. In addition to daily updates on TheCityFix, I look forward doing a special series on the DC Department of Transportation’s Streetscape and Streetcar aspirations, as well as an in-depth look at DC’s density dilemma.
While studying at Maryland, I co-founded the blog Rethink College Park – one of the first hyper-local blogs covering development issues in the DC Metro Area. Recognizing that the college town lacked a reliable source of information on redevelopment matters, the project seeks to provide a fact-based, information clearinghouse that serves to foster community dialogue about the profound changes facing the blighted inner ring suburb. In addition to in-depth analysis and reporting, the project has a Smart Growth advocacy component. It has become known locally for its tireless advocacy of private student housing projects adjacent to the University. Rethink College Park has also drawn a lot of attention for its fight against the University administration for their lackluster support of the Purple Line light rail project that is planned to traverse the center of campus. In 2008, the project was named one of the Web’s Top 10 Planning, Design, and Development Websites by the planning portal Planetizen. One community member said of the site: “An excellent forum on the ways College Park is changing. Usually there is a bias toward good urban planning and smart growth practices.”