A MASTER PLAN FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
HarfordNEXT is organized around themes that support a holistic approach to planning. Each theme is structured around a number of principles and goals that correspond to implementation strategies to guide county policies over the life of the plan.Select one of the six HarfordNEXT Themes to begin.
HarfordNEXT presents an ambitious vision for the future of Harford County. While the plan articulates numerous goals and implementations impacting all aspects of County government, several key concepts emerged. These Big Ideas represent a bold direction for the County and are a sample of signature strategies that will distinguish Harford County.
Innovative development emphasizing sustainability
Design manuals can provide a framework for new development and redevelopment to achieve harmonious design by establishing a comprehensive set of site layout and architectural standards. Overlay districts can be tailored to specific areas to provide context sensitive zoning solutions and achieve broader community goals, such as celebrating historic assets or rebranding an economically challenged neighborhood. Design manuals and overlay districts can help reinforce or define architectural character and encourage quality public open spaces and streetscapes that are compatible with existing communities.
Green Infrastructure Planning
Developing a Green Infrastructure Plan will help to identify an interconnected system of ecologically important hubs and corridors county-wide. The network will support the migration of native plant and animal species while focusing restoration efforts to help improve air and water quality. The plan will also guide state and County preservation efforts and inform decision-making when preparing master plans, evaluating development proposals, prioritizing the purchase of agricultural or conservation easements, and acquiring land for public facilities.
Promotion of our historical and cultural resources
With the advancement of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mobile applications, the County can streamline the field survey workflow and create a new inventory system that has the potential for local, state, and national agencies and preservation organizations to prioritize future preservation and promotion activities. Mobile applications can also be developed to create walking, bicycling, and driving tours that promote the County's cultural resources, which can, in turn, benefit the local economy. The County will also pursue Certified Local Government (CLG) designation, which can provide access to grants and technical assistance to enhance our historic preservation program.
Collective Impact Model to establish health goals
The Collective Impact Model is a framework for fostering collaboration between organizations from different sectors to solve a specific social problem by aligning their efforts and determining overlapping measures of success. The model typically relies on five conditions to ensure success: a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support. The County will utilize the Collective Impact Model to identify and solve various health issues such as the heroin epidemic, childhood obesity, and other chronic diseases.
Blue Zone Community
HarfordNEXT seeks to establish Harford County as a place that emulates many facets of a Blue Zone Community where people live measurably longer, healthier, and happier lives. Some of the implementation strategies proposed in HarfordNEXT are a first step towards improving the health and well-being of our population. The County will develop policies and programs by collaboratively involving citizens, schools, employers, restaurants, grocery stores, and community leaders. Public and private entities can work together to identify areas of opportunity by utilizing data to target resources where assistance is needed to increase the probability of success. Harford County can achieve certification as a Blue Zone Community through individual, public, and private commitments to act on specific goals and policies outlined in HarfordNEXT.
Holistic transportation planning
Innovative approaches are necessary to relieve congestion and improve safety on Harford County's roads and highways. HarfordNEXT proposes strategies, such as Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs, that are designed to reduce travel demand during the peak hours and/or redistribute travel demand. TDM promotes alternative ways to manage congestion, such as expanding rideshare programs, providing transit incentives, and encouraging businesses to implement teleworking and flexible scheduling for their employees. The plan also supports transportation alternatives, such as walking and bicycling, which have the added benefit of promoting an active lifestyle. Preserving rights-of-way is also essential to meeting long-range transportation goals and establishing a Complete Streets program.
The HarfordNEXT Progress Tracker makes it easy to view a status snapshot of the plan's nearly five hundred implementation strategies. Progress can be reported by Theme, and by Short, Mid, and Long-term goals.
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