Document Type


Publication Date

December 2007


Baltimore, redevelopment, urban renewal


This essay was prepared as an Independent Writing Project for Professor Garrett Power.


East Baltimore, Maryland is a study of remarkable contrasts. The area is home to the Johns Hopkins University medical campus, which contains some of most distinguished academic and health institutions in the entire world. The centerpiece of the sprawling complex is the striking Johns Hopkins Hospital, consistently rated America’s best hospital every year since 1992 and sustaining an annual operating budget over $4 billion.

Yet right outside its iron wrought gates lies the Middle East neighborhood, one of the most impoverished and crime-ridden communities in the City of Baltimore.

There is a long history of unease and mistrust between the University and its East Baltimore neighbors. The university attempted to improve its image by revising its mission statement to include a commitment to improving the surrounding community, spearheading the creation of neighborhood action organizations and participating in efforts to revitalize the communities on its borders.

Realizing a decisive and progressive plan was necessary to revitalize the area, the Johns Hopkins University collaborated with both public and private entities to create a new vision for East Baltimore that would transform eighty acres of urban blight into a revitalized community of research space, housing, retail and parks.

This paper attempts to shed some light upon this ambitious and controversial urban renewal project, which is still in its early stages.