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Downtown Silver Spring in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a 22-acre mixed-use suburban downtown revitalization project. "Silver Spring’s core was at one time a non-descript area of parking lots, aging retail, office buildings, and boarded-up storefronts. It is now a thriving, mixed-use town center within an arts and entertainment district," writes John Marcolin, a Montgomery County planner.
Developed from Maryland’s Smart Growth policies, the “first ring” suburban project is the result of a public-private partnership. It involved the creation of retail, entertainment, office, and public spaces and multi-family housing units, as well as four vibrant, revitalized main streets that are safe and pedestrian-friendly.
The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence 2005 selection committee stated:
"Downtown Silver Spring project worked with the architecture of the Discovery Center and its public park, the commons, and the Veterans Plaza on axis with the transit center."
Totaling $1.3 billion in investment, the revitalization has resulted in more than one million square feet of retail space including movie theaters and restaurants in a restored historic Art Deco building. The American Film Institute and the world headquarters for Discovery Communications are housed in newly developed office spaces. Located adjacent to a Metro stop, the project provides a transit-oriented model of redevelopment in a suburb serving a diverse population.
Students at the University of Maryland were tasked with reimagining the west bank of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia as a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood, repairing the urban fabric in the process.
Jean Lafitte, Louisiana
Of all the projects recognized by the 2013 Charter Awards jury, this project inspired particular warmth – particular enough to create a special award of recognition for its locally driven, handcrafted approach.
Melrose Commons #thisisCNU
Bronx, New York
Famed sportscaster Howard Cosell, covering the 1977 World Series, remarked to the nation from Yankee Stadium as a helicopter showed aerial video of smoldering buildings: "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning." At the heart