UMD National Center for Smart Growth Hosts Bi-National Symposium

UMD National Center for Smart Growth Hosts
Paris Urban Planners for
Bi-National Symposium

From October 16 to October 20, 2014, UMD’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) hosted a symposium titled the Transit, Development, and Urban Form with the visiting LABEX consortium of research universities in Paris, France. The multidisciplinary approach to transit oriented development (TOD) involved scholars, urban planners, and government practitioners joining together to explore the potential relationship between two of the globe’s most prominent capital cities: Paris and Washington, D.C. Ideas and concepts were exchanged on the development of sustainable transportation while maintaining or improving the urban community’s standard of living.

The conference consisted of two days of paper presentations and discussions and one morning of reflection while considering the steps in moving forward. Paper topics included:

  • Paris-Washington: Comparative Timeline of Planning, Architecture, and Transportation;
  • The Linear City: A Case Study of Connecticut Avenue;
  • The Effects of Bike Share on Transit Ridership;
  • A Paradigm Changing How We Live and Travel or More of the Same? Impacts of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the Washington Metropolitan Area;
  • Transit Equity and Suburban Poverty in Landley Park, MD;
  • Transit-Induced Gentrification: Who Will Stay, and Who Will Go?;
  • Measuring TOD’s Impact on Retail; and
  • An Analysis of Firm Location and Relocation around Maryland and Washington D.C. Metro Rail Stations.


After each presentation, lively discussions occurred between delegated United States and French participants. US discussants ranged from Environmental Protection Agency project manager, Kevin Nelson to Valdis Lazdins of Montgomery County Planning Department. At a formal dinner, many of the participants were able to listen to Gabe Klein, the former Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation and recent fellow at the Urban Land Institute speak about the future of public transportation. His innovative ideas fueled energetic conversation amongst the participants while enhancing excitement for future discussion.

In the spring 2015, many of the US participants will travel to Paris to hear their different paper presentations as well as participate in discussions regarding those topics. The goal is to use the combined papers as a foundation for the creation of a book-length publication that will bring global recognition to UMD as it is utilized by policymakers as a resource for advancing urban equity and sustainability. NCSG and LABEX are excited to share their unique interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary outlook on urban planning and sustainable transit development with all regions looking to better their metropolis area.

For more information or to read the paper presentations please visit: or contact Shannon Kennedy at with any questions or interests.

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