Planning & Design Center

The Planning and Design Center (PDC), founded in 2012, is the newest addition to the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) at the University of Maryland.  The PDC assists local, regional and state agencies in Maryland and across the nation on a wide range of projects. These include land use planning, urban design, integrated land use/transportation planning, economic analysis, agricultural preservation, housing and environmental issues. A particular strength of the PDC is its extensive modeling and visualization capabilities.

The PDC draws on the substantial expertise of the faculty and practitioners associated with the NCSG and throughout the University whose leading scholars can apply their expertise to planning for sustainability. Drawing on Maryland’s 50 years of experience in managing growth and on the national experience of its staff in award-winning work around the country, the PDC assists with comprehensive plans, smart growth audits, corridor planning, MPO scenario-based planning, and multi-modal planning.

The PDC routinely teams with others to add a national perspective to local problem solving efforts. For further information please contact Uri Avin, FAICP, Director of the PDC.

PDC Projects

  • Sustain Southern Maine
    Greater Portland Council of Governments, ME
    The PDC is assisting the MPO and Partners on this HUD Sustainable Communities grant to effect changes in housing affordability, transportation and energy cost reductions primarily through demonstration planning efforts.
  • Central York County Connector Study
    Maine DOT and Maine Turnpike Authority
    A multi-corridor study to improve access to central York County and evaluate its effects on enhanced economic competitiveness including associated land use strategies; leading edge public involvement and economic impact/accessibility tools coupled and deployed.
  • Rezoning for Route 28
    Loudoun County, VA
    The PDC is advising Loudoun County on how to rezone this prime corridor adjacent to Dulles Airport to capture Office and MXD land uses and relinquish its retail-oriented zoning.


PDC Faculty and Staff

Uri Avin, FAICP, PDC Director and Research Professor
Gerrit Knaap, NCSG Executive Director and Professor
Jason Sartori, NCSG Associate Director