Over the past several years, we have seen a dramatic change in the University of Maryland's approach to and overall level of engagement with the City of College Park. From a past relationship that many in the city have characterized as "icy", the University is now actively engaged in collaborating with leaders throughout the City as we work together to make College Park an even better place for all residents. Signs of this collaboration continue to develop around us, from the recently-announced "Art Space" venue on Baltimore Avenue downtown, to the new University of Maryland Hotel and Conference Center, to closer partnerships with local schools including the College Park Academy, the University is a full partner with the city in the re-imagining of College Park as a top 20 college town.
This new collaboration has thus far been very good, and I commend both the University and the City for their good-faith engagement, much of which has been accomplished through the excellent work of the College Park City-University Partnership (CPCUP).
It is extremely important that this collaboration continue. However, it is equally important that our city leadership assess new opportunities for collaboration critically, to make sure that joint projects serve all residents of the City, including those who (like me and my family) have no formal affiliation with the University.
I support collaboration with the University, so long as ideas for additional collaboration support the needs of both the City and the University. My ideas include the following: