Columbia Town Center

Columbia, Maryland

Mahan Rykiel was retained by General Growth Properties to assist them in preparing a 20-30 year master plan for the Town Center Core of the New Town of Columbia, Maryland. Planned in the 1960’s, Columbia encompasses over 14,000 acres of land and continues to grow and mature. The 570-acre Town Center Core includes a diverse mix of uses including retail, office, residential and recreation, however, it continues to be an automobile-dominated community.


The goal of the master plan is to provide a framework for future growth that results in a vibrant, more walkable downtown while maintaining the original spirit of the planned community. Particular emphasis is placed on maintaining and enhancing the significant open space system.


The master planning process was a collaborative effort that incorporated intensive work sessions with the General Growth team members, over 20 one-on-one interviews with public and private leadership; leadership work sessions and two public “Town Hall Meetings” with over 500 participants each.