Baltimore Green Network

Map of Baltimore City showing four Focus Areas identified in Green Network Plan. These are numbered 1-Southwest Baltimore, 2-West Baltimore, 3-Central, and 4-East Baltimore.

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Baltimore Green Network

The Baltimore Green Network (BGN) is a multi-pronged City initiative to increase open space and connections across Baltimore by creating new usable green space and active transportation corridors in neighborhoods experiencing population loss. Working in partnership with communities, the City and others are creating valuable green space on sites previously occupied by vacant and abandoned buildings, while also developing multi-use trails that will connect residents to parks, schools, job centers, and commercial areas.

Creating new neighborhood open space and trails is a valuable strategy for retaining residents and improving their quality of life when the market is not likely to support redevelopment. Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and others find that having well maintained green spaces in neighborhoods reduces violent crime by 23% and increases sale prices of nearby homes by up to 20%. (See link to article)

The BGN is an outgrowth of Baltimore’s Green Network Plan(See link for Plan) The Green Network Plan is a vacant land management strategy that offers a vision and strategies for strengthening communities experiencing disinvestment and demolition. Between 2016-2018, the planning process brought together City agencies, residents, community partners, and local businesses to advise on ways to transform vacant properties into neighborhood assets such as parks, trails, community gardens, and farms. 

To begin putting the Baltimore Green Network into practice at the neighborhood scale (in addition to working citywide), planners worked with community stakeholders to complete neighborhood-specific plans for four initial Focus Areas, each a cluster of two-to-three neighborhoods chosen for high vacancy levels and opportunities for economic development: 1) Central: Druid Heights and Upton; 2) Southwest: Carrollton Ridge, Boyd-Booth, and Shipley Hill; 3) West: Harlem Park and Sandtown-Winchester; and 4) East: Broadway East and South Clifton Park.

While not limited to these locations, the Plan urged targeting resources in these areas to create safe, healthy green spaces that stabilize neighborhoods and support economic and workforce development efforts, while ensuring that greening projects are resident-led and community-driven. 

Working through the Department of Planning in coordination with other agencies and organizations, the City of Baltimore leads four initiatives identified in the Plan, aimed at reversing the effects of population loss and disinvestment that lead to extensive demolition in too many neighborhoods.  These initiatives are all described more fully in the pages that follow:

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