Using a Studio Course for Provision of Smart Growth Technical Assistance: The University of Marylandís 1999 Community Planning Studio in Perryville, M

James Cohen (1999)

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As a faculty member in the University of Maryland’s Urban Studies and Planning Program, in early 1999 I decided to have my summer, community planning studio course focus on the challenges facing one of Maryland’s smaller jurisdictions at it attempted to comply with its planning mandates and grow in a manner consistent with the state’s Smart Growth program. The resulting 2 summer studio course, entitled “What’s Smart Growth for Perryville?”, proved to be a rich learning experience for the students and a valuable resource for the town. This chapter focuses on how the 1999 summer studio course provided smart-growth related technical assistance to the Town of Perryville. It will provide a brief profile of the studio course and of Perryville; discuss how the students approached the study; summarize the major findings and recommendations of the final studio report; critically analyze the degree to which the report has since been utilized by the town; highlight the students’ reactions to the studio experience; and discuss the lessons learned from the studio and the studio’s potential transferability.