Sustainable Business Alliance Continues Pressure On Market House/Downtown Future Debate ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sustainable Business Alliance Continues Pressure On Market House/Downtown Future Debate

The below is from Catherine Durkan, president of the Annapolis Sustainable Business Alliance:

After the thought provoking and energizing presentation by Fred Kent, President of the Project for Public Spaces, many people asked,“Where do we go from here?" Kent's answer was to create and enhance more authentic destinations that will appeal to all ages.
With amazing pictures and anecdotes, Kent showed examples from many places around the world where a simple methodology was used to draw people (not cars) into new and improved destinations. The ripple effect brings more interest, vibrancy, and the “controlled chaos” which people intuitively like and want to visit again. It is all about the destinations that spring from existing infrastructure and landmarks, coupled with the events, places and activities that naturally happen when people are enjoying life. The plan for our waterfront area should be formed from those real activities and destinations. A plan imposed upon the downtown area without consideration of the natural and authentic flow of Annapolis cannot be authentic.

Simply filling the Market House isn't going to make downtown a success. A broad vision coupled with active community involvement is what we need for the downtown waterfront area. Though Kent has consulted in 2,500 cities, and has been around the world 10 times already this year, ASBA did not bring him to Annapolis to supply us with the vision. He was here to remind us that it is up to the local people to decide what destinations to create. Our objective is that the Market House and City Dock area are successful and sustainable PUBLIC SPACES.

Please come to a meeting on September 9, 2010, at 7 pm at History Quest, 99 Main Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.
The goals of the meeting:
To energize stakeholders to engage in the process of formulating a concrete action plan to present to the Mayor and City Council
To obtain committed participation by representatives of civic, business and citizen groups, including those identified by the Idea Team
To identify goals and ideals for the creation of a Market House and City Dock Vision
To identify appropriate members (both voting and non-voting) for a Task Force recognized by the Mayor and City Council
To discuss the structure and responsibilities of an on-going, sanctioned body

Please RSVP as soon as possible to Cathy Durkan, ASBA President, at

[ACP NOTES--This is toward the end of Rosh Ha Shanah, The Jewish New Year. Even though it is at 7 pm, it is still before sundown, the end of the day in the Jewish calendar. I think the ASBA was mistaken in choosing this time and it will only weaken their efforts and attendance and should reconsider.  Durkan explained that they did not pick Wednesday evening because the holiday starts at that time. She is correct in saying that worship services are generally not held on Thursday evenings. Sunset on September 9 is 7:26 p.m. "That is the best we could do" explains Durkan who added that "there are SO many scheduling considerations that have to be weighed, and we were trying to get a meeting under our belt before the Council meets again the following week. There is simply no other time when we can get a room (for free), and there aren't other direct conflicts."]

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