Jim Rouse secretly bought 14,000 acres of farmland in segregated Howard County, Maryland, in 1964. He promised to transform the land into a city of 100,000 that was "economically diverse, poly-cultural, multi-faith and interracial." Veteran journalist Len Lazarick tells the fascinating story of how this new town of Columbia grew and prospered over the past half-century, with many successes and a few failures. In 2016, Money magazine called it the "best small city to live in America."
Columbia offered new models for many facets of life. There were interfaith religious centers, innovative schools that became some of the best in the country, better health care options, open space greenery near every door step, creative news media, proliferating arts organizations, fitness and recreation facilities for every interest, and new concepts in shopping centers. Lazarick looks at all the major aspects of the planned community and the key players that made them work, weaving the story of him and his family throughout the tale.
Columbia has helped transform a rural county between Baltimore and Washington into one of the richest and best educated places in the United States. This easy-to-read series of essays tells how that happened.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: How the ‘garden for growing people’ got planted and grew
Chapter 2: Business - Downtown and office parks went up and down with the economy
Chapter 3: Shopping and retailing at the core of the Columbia plan - Village centers and the mall
Chapter 4: Media - Communications part of building community
Chapter 5: Politics - The shifting weight of Columbia political power
Chapter 6: Education - Schools were crucial then and now
Chapter 7: Health care - Planning for a healthy community
Chapter 8: Religion - Interfaith centers sought to bring congregations together
Chapter 9: Environment - Respecting the land while building a city
Chapter 10: Arts at the heart of the new town
Chapter 11: Recreation and the role of the Columbia Association
Chapter 12: A 50-year-old town faces its future
Afterword and Acknowledgements
About the Author