What are we doing?

This site has come a long way since the concept first appeared on the Diamondback’s opinion page in May. We’ve worked tirelessly since then to make the idea fit into a blog format.

Some have called this website “a new frontier in urban planning” or dubbed us as planning renegades. City and universityRTCP_Logo.JPG officials don’t seem to know what to think and the press doesn’t fully grasp our role. We’ve been known to characterize this site as many things but overall it’s just an experiment. We ask everyday: Can a community come together and execute its shared and stated vision for a vibrant, dynamic city?

Maybe this lack of understanding is our failure. Indeed, it’s been difficult to convey to people what the purpose of this site is and our “about” page doesn’t provide clear guidance. Are we an advocacy group or simply a news outlet? Are we an “information clearinghouse” or a run of the mill blog? Sometimes, I’ve found, it’s easier to write the introduction to a paper once you’ve finished the body – Rethink College Park is no exception.

And so, in line with our policy of full disclosure, we decided to produce a mission statement to make our purpose clear. In doing so, we hope it will guide our actions and the future of this site and clear up and misconceptions. After much internal debate here it is:

Our mission is to help transform College Park into a great college town. We believe in full access to information, public dialogue, and the power of creative ideas.

Overridingly, this website/blog/community group is a response to the incredible amount of change that faces the City of College Park in the years to come – a change that may rival the University of Maryland’s own tremendous transformation. We hope that if you have any interest in what we’re doing or can in any way help the effort, that you not hesitate to get involved.