Aside from the fact that it is located on an ocean and plays in the American League East, Baltimore is a lot like the City of St. Louis: challenged, charming . . . and changing for the better.
Barb Geisman and I were there yesterday as guests of Enterprise Foundation’s Bart Harvey and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley. We met at Heritage Crossing Center, a community center located in one of Baltimore’s Hope VI developments.
If you don’t know Bart, take it from me: he is one of savviest urban revitalizers in the country. Bart told us about a number of initiatives in progress at the foundation many of which he is interested in introducing to St. Louis. One of these is a model for green (i.e., environmentally sensitive) affordable housing. The foundation has developed a set of standards that can make housing development much more environmentally friendly with little or no increase in cost. I look forward to hearing more about this from Bart next time he visits St. Louis.
Mayor O’Malley and I spoke about initiatives we share: St. Louis modeled its CityView metrics program on Baltimore’s CityStat program and Ruth Ann Norton of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning advises community-based programs in both cities. Ruth Ann, who lives in Baltimore, told a variety of Baltimore leaders that St. Louis’ plan to end childhood lead poisoning by 2010 is one of the best in the country and that St. Louis’ plan is demonstrating good success.
I told Mayor O’Malley about our Cortex life sciences development project a subject of intense interest to him as he works through a redevelopment initiative for the eastern portion of Baltimore, where Johns Hopkins University is partnering with the city to develop a life sciences business park, as well as mixed income housing.
At no time during the visit did I use the phrase "twenty-seven games over .500."