Conversations
Three Planning Directors and the DC/Baltimore Region
March 16, 2021   7pm EDT
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Chris Ryer began working in community development over 30 years ago as an intern at the Baltimore Planning Department.  After ten years as a community planner with the Department, he moved to the non-profit sector where he worked for the Trust for Public Lands and a community based organization in southwest Baltimore.  In 2002 he returned to the Baltimore Planning Department where he served as Chief of Comprehensive Planning and Deputy Director.  After a short period at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, he served as the Director of the Southeast Community Development Corporation for over ten years before returning to the Planning Department as Director in 2019. 

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Since July 2013, Gwen Wright has been the Director of the Montgomery County Planning Department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In this role, Ms. Wright oversees a wide range of projects that aim to improve the quality of life in Montgomery County by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment. Montgomery County is one of the largest jurisdictions in Maryland with over 1 million residents and has a key role in the dynamic Washington D.C. metropolitan growth area. Ms. Wright also worked for the Montgomery County Planning Department from 1987 to 2008. During this period, she served as the Chief of Countywide Planning, including supervising the Environmental Planning, Transportation Planning and Historic Preservation Sections, as well as serving as Acting Planning Director.

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Andrew has served as the Director of the DC Office of Planning (OP) since November 2018. During this tenure, Andrew has prioritized agency efforts around housing and equity. He shepherded the update of the Comprehensive Plan with a focus on updates around housing, equity, resilience, public facilities and COVID-19 recovery. Prior to joining OP, Andrew was the Chief of Staff at DC’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). Throughout his time at DMPED, he worked to support real estate and business development, improve the agency’s data and analysis capacity and to create open and accessible data and analysis, especially through the creation of the Economic Intelligence program.

How can the planning and design of towns, cities, and communities of every shape and size meet the emerging imperatives of our times, such as climate change, pandemics and social justice?  How can public planning agencies adapt to these and other challenges in the short and long term?

Join CNU-DC in a panel discussion between public planning leaders Gwen Wright of Montgomery County, Chris Ryer of Baltimore, and Andrew Trueblood of DC. Our discussion will probe these challenges and hear what each of these leaders and their respective agencies are doing to make our communities safer, fairer and more resilient.