Join the Webcast: The Montgomery County Planning Department Master Plan Reality Check

The NCSG will host Caroline McCarthy, Chief of the Research and Special Projects Division at the Montgomery County (MD) Planning Department for a webinar on Monday, November 6, 2017 at noon.  Visit the webinar page on the NCSG website to join the webinar live.

A master plan establishes goals and recommendations for a physical setting. But how do planners know if the plans were implemented and successful in achieving the vision? Enter the Master Plan Reality Check. This project took a systematic approach to measuring the outcomes of past County master plans, using quantifiable indicators based on the targets set in plans. The Master Plan Reality Check was initiated to analyze the degree to which a select sample of master plans have realized the vision, densities, land uses, infrastructure and amenities called upon in their respective recommendations.  By assessing the difference between a plan’s aspirations and on-the-ground reality, the study shed light on why some plan aspects materialized as envisioned and others did not. The plan reality check assessment tested traditional assumptions to determine whether they should be modified based on indicators and past performance. The results will influence the direction of future planning efforts in the County.

The Research and Special Projects Division is responsible for providing demographic, economic, real estate market, and affordable housing analysis to support master plans, development review, and land use policy decisions. Caroline joined the Montgomery County Planning Department in April 2016 from HR&A Advisors, a national real estate, economic development, and public policy consulting firm, where she was managing principal in the Washington, DC office. She has extensive experience developing market analyses and implementation strategies for master plans of complex sites, including brownfields, former military bases, downtowns, and transit-oriented development. Caroline holds a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wesleyan University. She is a member of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute.

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