Downtown Columbia

A view of Downtown Columbia from overhead. (Doug Kapustin / September 18, 2012)

Howard County's Downtown Columbia master plan was recognized with a downtown merit award by the International Downtown Agency (IDA) at its annual conference this weekend, according to a County government news release.

“Howard County Government’s project received the IDA Merit Award for delivering excellence in downtown management,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO.  “Each year the IDA Awards Jury recognizes organizations that utilize best practices in our industry.  The Downtown Columbia Master Plan is a shining example of excellent downtown management that delivers real results.”

The Downtown Master Plan, submitted by the County's Planning department, was one of 10 qualified entries in the Planning category.

According to the release, the category recognizes "planning efforts that establish a strategic position for downtown with elements of the plan having already been approved, ratified or implemented."


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“Columbia, MD has long been synonymous with visionary planning,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.  “And this recognition shows once again that Columbia is in the vanguard of community-planning.” 

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