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COMMENTARY:

Planning for BRAC in the Baltimore Region

Public to meet on Oct. 25 to discuss what the Baltimore region should look like in 2015.

SOURCE: Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality (BRIDGE)

BRAC--Base Realignment and Foreclosure--is projected to bring 60,000 jobs to Maryland and it is widely viewed as a potential "hurricane," according to the regional community activist organization called BRIDGE (Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality). BRIDGE is concerned that Baltimore City's "inner suburbs" could become a "dumping ground" for affordable housing, thereby economically resegregating the region—or these same neighborhoods, currently relatively affordable, could become gentrified, forcing current residents to relocate elsewhere.

A third vision, espoused by BRIDGE, is that the City's inner suburbs could become mixed-income, vibrant communities. Such suburbs, often "caught in a policy blind spot" according to BRIDGE's publicity, were developed in the period of rapid suburban expansion before and after WWII. The majority of housing was built before 1970. Baltimore's inner suburbs mirror those of other major U.S. cities, and they are home to about one-fifth of the U.S. population.

On October 25 at 7 p.m., BRIDGE will present "Guiding Principles of Planning for BRAC" at Wayland Baptist Church, 3200 Garrison Blvd Baltimore 21216. The public is invited to participate in the event, which will bring together elected officials and religious leaders, including Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Mayor Sheila Dixon and Bishop H. Gerard Knoche.


For more information, call 410-542-0395 or e-mail bridgemaryland@aol.com.

BRIDGE is an interfaith organization comprised of institutions throughout the Baltimore region working to “BRIDGE the Gap” between communities--bring people together and putting an end to policies that concentrate poverty and devastate older suburban and city communities.



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This story was published on October 12, 2007.