A new website run by University of Maryland students has won national recognition for online innovation. Robert Goodspeed, a student in the Master of Community Planning program, and David Daddio, an undergraduate Environmental Economics major, launched the website Rethink College Park in 2006 to engage students and community members in the physical development of College Park.
This month, the website was named one of the Top Ten Planning and Development websites of 2008 by the popular urban development portal Planetizen, which described it as a "user-friendly website that provides community members with updated information on plans in the community."
Since going online in 2006, 15 student and community contributors have published over 300 articles on the website on topics ranging from local bike trails, proposed condominium and office buildings, transportation issues, and long-range planning in the community. Community members have contributed over 1,400 comments. "We recognized that there was a substantial consensus about how to improve College Park," says Daddio, "but what was needed was a forum to encourage coordination between stakeholders and help hold decision-makers responsible."
The website has featured extensive information and discussion about two major projects now being planned in College Park. The East Campus public-private partnership will contain a hotel, supermarket, restaurants, and thousands of apartments. The Purple Line, a light rail line that will "connect the spokes" of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metro Rail system in Maryland, will travel through College Park.
Contact: Rob Goodspeed