Mayor Scott Announces 'Downtown RISE'
Thursday Nov 9th, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Thursday, November 9, 2023) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced a new, groundbreaking, comprehensive action plan that aims to serve as an overarching blueprint for the future of downtown Baltimore. The announcement was made at Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s (DPOB) Annual Meeting and 40th Anniversary event.
Titled “Downtown RISE: Roadmap for Investment, Support, and Equity,” the vision is being crafted in partnership with key stakeholders across the City of Baltimore including DPOB, Baltimore Development Corporation, Live Baltimore, Visit Baltimore, and other key stakeholders, with plans to engage more institutions and community voices in the months ahead. These partners, and more than a half a dozen others, joined Mayor Scott in penning an op-ed that highlighted existing achievements and reiterated why this comprehensive vision would be crucial to the success of downtown.
“The nature of downtowns is changing all across the world. In order to help Baltimore unlock its full potential, we must have a cohesive vision for our downtown corridor that will make it even more dynamic, inclusive, and prosperous,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “This action plan is about bringing together all of the voices working to build Baltimore’s renaissance and work towards a collective vision that will benefit every single Baltimorean. In order to overcome the decades of disinvestment and inequity that our city has endured, we must ensure both our downtown corridor and our neighborhoods are set up for success. One portion cannot thrive without the other. Seizing this moment of opportunity will take all of us working together on behalf of our city, and we want to ensure everyone – especially residents – are part of this effort.”
The initial framework lays out four key focus areas and immediate actions to be taken by Baltimore City to activate tools at its disposal to begin work. Developed in coordination with community partners, a key component of Downtown RISE will be integrating and building on the numerous existing plans and policies already being implemented by a variety of institutions, community partners, and nonprofits.
After feedback from residents on their downtown priorities is gathered, a comprehensive strategic plan expanding on the vision is expected to be released in early 2024.
Downtown RISE’s four key focus areas include:
- Public Safety and Cleanliness
- Community and Economic Development
- Arts, Culture, Entertainment, and Placemaking
- Infrastructure Development
Within each of these four key focus areas, Baltimore City will take initial immediate actions, including:
- Collaborate with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore to create a Strategic Operations Center (SOC). The SOC will serve as a centralized hub for coordination, information sharing, and data-driven strategies. This endeavor centers on enhancing communication, integrating public safety and community resources through advanced technology to more effectively respond to safety and security concerns.
- Implement a graffiti removal program, establish a monthly power washing schedule for sidewalks and alleys, implement a regular maintenance schedule for tree wells, and expand and maintain planters throughout downtown.
- Advocate for and implement state legislation to amend liquor license provisions to remove barriers that currently prevent small restaurants/cafes from obtaining Class B liquor licenses.
- Encourage more frequent closings of downtown streets for pedestrian friendly special events, such as Charm City Live, the Charles Street Promenade, street festivals, music concerts, etc.
- Remove barriers for permitting for murals, placemaking projects and outdoor art in all arts districts.
- Start the optimization of traffic signals in the central business district by Spring 2024, as part of the Baltimore Department of Transportation's (DOT) ongoing traffic signal optimization efforts citywide.
- Implement a plan to repair, repaint and replace faded crosswalks and street signs along the following key downtown areas including, E Pleasant Street, President Street, Key Highway, MLK Ave, Pratt Street, Lombard Street, Light Street, Fayette Street, St. Paul Street, Baltimore Street, and Charles Street.
More immediate action items in each key focus area and additional information on the vision can be found on the new Downtown RISE website.