This studio report was prepared by five students in Professor Sidney Brower's URSP 708: Community Planning course in Spring 2010.
The research focused on the current conditions and recommendations for the area of downtown Baltimore currently known as the Westside, including the Howard Street corridor and Lexington Market area. Once a thriving commercial area, Downtown West (as it was rechristened) is now home to a growing residential population, is well-served by public transit and has vibrant businesses that serve a predominately low-income population. However, many of the buildings in the area are vacant and issues of safety are apparent.
Surveys of business owners, residents of the Atrium Apartment Building and employees of Catholic Relief Services, as well as interviews with various stakeholder organizations and a review of the history of the area yielded surprising results about the vitality and problems facing Downtown West. From that research, a series of recommendations for the area's future were made.