Downtown Columbia Sustainability Program
Columbia, Maryland, located at the center of the Baltimore-Washington, DC corridor and opened in 1967, was one of the first planned communities in the U.S. The completion of a new Master Plan for Downtown Columbia marked the beginning of an historic revitalization effort for the community. At the heart of the master plan is the vision to create a community that fosters the growth of its people, respects the land, and promotes economic prosperity while celebrating the diversity of life. Working toward the realization of this vision, Biohabitats developed a Sustainability Program that established principles, goals and targets that touch upon all aspects of the community’s design and operation. The Sustainability Program is comprised of three main parts: The Sustainability Framework, an Implementation Plan, and an Institutional Framework.
The Sustainability Framework provided the overarching components of the Sustainability Program and served as a quick reference for tracking performance with regard to sustainability within Downtown.
Downtown Columbia’s Sustainability Program has been integrated into the design guidelines for the overall plan as well as the Warfield neighborhood, the first of five neighborhoods in the Master Plan. A sustainable community is not an endpoint; rather it is a continuous process of adapting and improving, so that each generation can live progressively higher quality lives. For Columbia and Howard County, the Downtown Columbia project addresses many needed improvements while planning for an enriching future.