2 min read
Posted on 07.20.05
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 07.20.05

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."