This summer I had the incredible opportunity to design an new program for the Prince George’s County Planning Department’s Collegiate Internship and Summer Youth Employment Program participants. Remix The Block was designed to increase interns’ awareness and interest in the Urban Planning career field and to gain input from young people on what their desired community looks and feels like.

Key objectives of the Remix the Block Program were for students to:

  1. Interact with Urban Planners working for the Prince George’s County Planning Department from diverse academic and social backgrounds.
  2. Discuss and review the purpose, function, and history of planning and contemporary issues’ in the County related to place-making, food access, and walkablity.
  3. Practice using 21st century research skills and using tools like ArcGIS, American Census FactFinder, PGAtlas, and DAMS
  4. Conduct a walk audit to analyze the built environment in a designated community to understand the interaction with the social environment
  5. Prepare a site analysis that synthesizes findings/personal experiences and presents proposals for reimagining a place to be inclusive for all
  6. Support and defend recommendations in during a formal presentation before the Prince George’s County Planning Board Chair, Planning Director, and Planning Department Staff.

This 6-week experience gave High School, Undergraduate, and Graduate students the ability to explore the development patterns of Prince George’s and then take deep dives into select communities to propose recommendations to reimagine the communities as inclusive places for people of all ages, incomes, and abilities. Interns reviewed Capitol Heights, Cottage City and Colmar Manor, Riverdale Park, and Largo Town Center. Check out a highlight video of the summer!

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