SSN Commentary

Re-Imagining Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as a Place for Residents Rather Than Tourists

Connect with the author

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Originally published as "Re-Imagining Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as a Place for Residents Rather Than Tourists," The Baltimore Sun, March 17, 2021

Stand on the edge of Federal Hill Park and look out on Baltimore; it’s an amazing view. Look closely, however, and you’ll notice the Inner Harbor’s visible signs of neglect and decay. You’ll also notice skyline additions shifting our city center eastward, a vacuum more than expansion.

Now close your eyes and imagine people across time taking in that same view from the hill. Our native predecessors looked out over a grassy shoreline and woodland streams long before “Baltimore” existed. In recent centuries, people originating from all corners of the globe — arriving by choice, circumstance or capture — have rebuilt Baltimore many times over. Our cultural inheritance today is the sum of their experiences: booms and busts, triumphs and tragedies, hierarchies of power and privilege, and uprisings of resistance and resilience.