ELLICOTT CITY, Maryland — Howard County is a hub of educational institutions, shopping centers, and recreational facilities. In this article, we will take a look at the evolution of public recreation facilities in Columbia, Maryland over time. Howard Community College is located close to the city center, while the University of Phoenix, the American Career Institute, Lincoln School of Technology, Loyola University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland University of Integrative Health and Johns Hopkins University have facilities on the east side of the city, in the Columbia Gateway Business Park.
Resource densitieswere significantly lower in the black and low-income areas of Maryland and New York, but not in North Carolina. In addition to its original campus in Columbia, Howard Community College now has satellite campuses in Mount Airy, Laurel and East Columbia, in the Columbia Gateway Business Park.
There are several other major shopping centers competing in East Columbia, such as the Dobbin Center shopping center, which opened in 1983, the big stores in Snowden Square in the rest of the GE industrial plant, the large Columbia Crossing I and II stores, which began in 1997, and Gateway Overlook. The availability of resources available in recreational facilities and parks were estimated for census areas between April 2003 and June 2004 in North Carolina, New York and Maryland using a basic estimate. Most of these resources required a fee and were less dense in minority and low-income areas. The development plans for downtown projects in the coming years will include details of that project, such as neighborhood design guidelines, environmental restoration, public services and infrastructure. Rouse described Columbia in a 1964 prospectus as “an opportunity for U. S.
growth to change course and stop needlessly wasting land, expansion, disorder, congestion, and rising taxes and opting for order, beauty, financial stability, and sincere concern for people's growth.” Several Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) routes provide access to and from Washington and Baltimore; the MTA's Monday-Friday commuter bus service connects Columbia to the Washington subway system. Howard County approved the necessary changes to its zoning regulations in August 1965 and construction began in June 1966. In site-specific population-adjusted analyses, significantly higher densities of park resources were observed in predominantly black and low-income areas in North Carolina and New York (RD%3D2.69 and 1.75 respectively for blacks versus whites; 3.17 and 1.62 for low-income versus high-income areas), but not in Maryland (RD%3D0.89 for blacks; 1.39 for low-income people) (p-value for the interaction).The Mall in Columbia is located in Town Center and is a large regional mall with three main department stores (Nordstrom, Macy's and JCPenney), a multiplex cinema and more than 200 stores and restaurants.
Differencesin the availability of recreational resources may contribute to racial and gender disparities in physical activity. In this study most resources located in recreational facilities required a fee and were less common in minority and low-income areas. The evolution of public recreation facilities has been an interesting one to observe over time.
From Howard Community College's original campus to satellite campuses located throughout East Columbia to major shopping centers competing for business - it's clear that there has been significant growth over time. However, it's also clear that there are still disparities when it comes to resource availability between minority and low-income areas compared to other areas. It will be interesting to see how these disparities are addressed going forward as more development plans are put into place for downtown projects. With access to public transportation from Washington D. C., Baltimore and other surrounding areas - it's clear that there is potential for further growth when it comes to public recreation facilities.