The City of New Carrollton intends to develop and implement a municipal plan that maps out a strategy for pursuing the goals of sustainability. The plan might include a number of measures that city operations could implement to reduce the jurisdiction’s carbon footprint. Most, if not all, cost money and might benefit from a financing strategy and/or a business process for implementation. A more ambitious plan could develop city goals that include residents and businesses.
The University of Maryland will assist the City of New Carrollton in identifying achievable and affordable means by which it can seek to produce the following outcomes under its Sustainable Community designation:
1. Support communities and reduce environmental impacts (stormwater runoff and pollution, recycling, decreased vehicle emissions or address the impacts of vehicle emissions).
2. Value Communities and Neighborhoods (Code Enforcement, Neighborhood Watch)
3. Enhance economic competitiveness (collaborate with the Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation to redevelop the Forman Mills property given its proximity to the Purple Line; recruit diversified businesses, such as a restaurant).
4. Promote access to quality affordable housing (increase effectiveness of Code Enforcement, address housing vacancies and foreclosures).
5. Support transportation efficiency and access (develop bike connections to the New Carrollton Metro and Purple Line Light Rail Station; complete gaps in the pedestrian/bike street network, CIP projects to construct bike trails and street improvements).
6. Coordinate and leverage policies and investment (leverage economic development opportunities through P.G. Co. Economic Development Corporation; influence investment opportunities in and around the transit station areas; support and expand sustainable green development policies, etc.).
New Carrollton has environmental goals that can be explored, some of which have been developed in conjunction with efforts as a Sustainable City under the Sustainable Maryland program. To that end, the City is establishing a Green Team to engage city staff, residents, businesses and other community members in the effort. Students could research Best Practices in Green Team organization and activities with an emphasis on both engaging the citizenry and creating a list of relevant projects. Another key outcome would be to identify approaches to develop the City’s efforts to adopt and/or implement these measures. Students interested in this project would be input in touch with the City Green Team Coordinator to explore collaborative opportunities.
One such related Green Team activity, currently being conducted with another municipality is to conform the City of College Park’s Green app (a smartphone application that measured a user’s sustainable practices, for example, use of clean energy, recycling or composting, home energy efficiency – conduct BGE studies, identify Energy Star appliances, identify energy efficient windows/doors) to the City of New Carrollton.
In collaboration with the City of New Carrollton and Prince George’s County, the University of Maryland will devise and execute a plan that will support the integrity of the ecosystem to:
1. Beautify a ½ mile stretch of Carrollton Parkway (County-owned land) by ridding the property of invasive species, preventing the growth/regrowth of invasive species and planting appropriate species in their stead; and
2. if complete eradication of the invasive species cannot be attained, control the invasive species by reducing their density and abundance to a level that allows native species to thrive.
The plan should be transferable to other areas along Carrollton Parkway.
The University of Maryland will work with the City to evaluate the City’s Park system and Parks Revitalization Master Plan to devise a plan for the potential redevelopment of each of the City’s 15 parks, if necessary or desired; to prioritize those parks in need of improvement; to identify and facilitate partnerships with businesses in the area (ie. Doctor’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente); and to contribute to the redevelopment of City parks and promote their connectivity which will benefit the overall health and welfare of City residents.
New Carrollton is interested in reducing its carbon footprint and energy costs and seeks Best Practice ideas on specifically how to do so. The research could include recommendations for efficiency analysis of current consumption patterns, the potential for localized green energy (thereby potentially reducing the purchase of energy from the regional energy grid), and increased energy efficiency, with an analysis that develops a sense of the costs and benefits of each approach.
The University of Maryland has begun generating solar energy on its College Park campus, and there is a potential for collaboration with Prince George’s County communities for the purpose of increasing the generation or distribution of clean renewable energy. Prince George’s County has a Sustainable Energy Program. Students could explore some aspect of developing a clean energy market in Prince George’s County – including the development of one or more micro-grids, and potentially with the impact of reducing or eliminating dependence upon the larger regional grid.
The City of New Carrollton is interested in increasing the number of registered voters’ actual participation in the election process. This includes both 1) increasing actual votes cast on election day and 2) making the Candidates Night and other candidate events more inclusive and interactive.
In addition to improving translation services to which certainly can improve cross-cultural understanding, New Carrollton is interested in collaborating with the University of Maryland in a review of current efforts to improve community communication. The first step would be the identification of what these areas are with the students could proposing and/or developing a process to conduct this review, and then reduce or eliminate areas of misunderstanding, and then to reduce the negative impact of those challenges. New Carrollton would like to specifically explore current and potential events as a means of mitigating cross-cultural misunderstandings. Students could explore the marketing potential, local business impacts, and other social benefits of New Carrollton events that address this opportunity.
The City of New Carrollton and the University of Maryland will explore strategies and innovative ideas to improve the effective engagement of the residents of the City of New Carrollton. This would include setting short term goals such as translating City materials from English to the second and possibly third most frequently spoken languages in the City, and incorporating international activities representing the population of the City into Community Day – to foster cross-cultural communication and harmony). Longer-term goals should also be set and could include: 1) increasing involvement on City committees; 2) increasing participation at City Council meetings; and, 3) increasing the number of residents who vote in City elections. Metrics can be developed to measure the current rate of engagement to assist in establishing the short term and longer-term goals. The effort will seek to improve residential awareness of City events and initiatives.
The City of New Carrollton and the University of Maryland will explore strategies and innovative ideas to improve the effective engagement of the businesses of the City of New Carrollton, using appropriate communications tools. Metrics can be developed to measure the current rate of engagement, and set short term and longer-term goals. The effort will seek to improve commercial awareness of City events or initiatives.
The University of Maryland will assist the City in strengthening its relationship with Prince George’s County to ensure collaboration between the City and the County during the development of the Purple Line and Metro station to boost the City’s tax base and the quality of life for City residents, given the significant impact that the Purple Line will have on the City.