In Baltimore, inequity is written in brick, concrete, and asphalt. Like many rust belt cities in the U.S., Baltimore is characterized by racial segregation that yields wide and persistent disparities in health, economics, and access. A century of urban renewal and highway construction accelerated harm in Baltimore and have fractured the relationship between communities and City government.

But Baltimore’s rich culture, and historic, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods also suggest a blueprint for livability and prosperity. So how does Baltimore move past a planning and development paradigm that has too often been an engine of displacement and dispossession? How do we co-create a City where our commonly-held public infrastructure is a platform for inclusive, equitable growth?

When Councilman Ryan Dorsey and advocacy group Bikemore got together in 2016 to discuss passing a binding Complete Streets ordinance, they soon realized that to fulfill the potential of Complete Streets as an engine of equity would take a new approach to policymaking. The City’s existing Complete Streets resolution had failed to result in a commitment to livable design even on many of the projects identified for complete streets improvements. Meanwhile, even the rollout of what has been accomplished in Baltimore to-date has too often been complicated by familiar questions of equity and missteps in community engagement.

Join the Baltimore Complete Streets team for a panel discussion on these issues and hear how the team has approached finding solutions to them by drawing on past experiences, advocacy work, and an evolving vision of a better future for all.



  • Benjamin Groff, Partner (Tidemore Group)

  • Tafadzwa Gwitira, Community Building Strategist (Opportunity Coalition)

  • Tiffany Davis, Senior Implementation Advisor (Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence)

  • Ryan Dorsey, City Councilman (Distrcit 3 Baltimore City Council)

  • Liz Cornish, Executive Director (Bikemore)

  • Celeste Chavis, Assistant Professor (Morgan State University Transportation Department

  • Kristen Jeffers, Founder & Editor-in-Chief (The Black Urbanist) 

  • LaKeisha Henderson (Bike & Brunch Tours)

    • ​​​Wednesday, April 4 (1:45pm - 3:15pm)

Changing our City by Completing the Street: Legislating from the Sidewalk Up

© 2018 Smart Growth America | National Complete Streets Coalition

Nashville Music City Center

201 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203