Dr. Hellman (Ph.D.) purchased land near the College of Southern Maryland decades ago in anticipation of planning a telecommunity that would blend open space, appreciation of natural assets, choices in housing, the influence of academia, and an attractive development for the private sector and federal agencies to locate employees. His inspiration for The HUB at La Plata emerged from his studies under the late (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) MIT computer pioneer Jay Wright Forrester, whose work brought together computerization and land-use planning, and showed how environmental sustainability and economic prosperity connect.
Hellman — a developer committed to building communities that are forward-thinking and in the right place — left MIT with five degrees and a vision to extend his mentor’s insights into a new era of computer-influenced workplaces and communities. In 1986, Hellman began advocacy and sharing information to apply his theory of “Virtual Adjacency” to transform a bedroom community area into the telecommunity to enable people to work near where they live and initiated “Vision Planning” to transform La Plata from a collection of pieces to a whole.
Hellman’s ideas support mixed-use, walkable, communities that create long-term economic prosperity via grassroots-collaborative planning that connects colleges, businesses, workplaces, living spaces and recreational venues. This creates magnet communities for knowledge workers, skilled professionals, business entrepreneurs, educated millennials, and those with specifically honed technical and vocational skills. This model in community planning leads to well-functioning societies, flourishing economies, and better quality of life for the public. The HUB is exploring building the infrastructure necessary to deliver gray water for irrigation, if allowed by the state, to minimize effluent discharge into the Port Tobacco River, and to lessen aquifer impacts.
“The HUB at La Plata is a milestone, empowering the town to direct and control the evolution of its infrastructure, quality of life and job creation. Plans are to preserve more than 200 acres of green space. The HUB’s rational residential-workplace blend counters sprawl, efficiently bringing the town maximum benefit from spaces which link existing neighborhoods instead of expanding the urban perimeter.
Uniting three districts to create a bicycle-friendly, mixed-use community, The HUB connects the historic town to CSM’s La Plata campus and the surrounding area. By offering residents access to existing fiber-optic Internet capabilities, The HUB at La Plata will welcome a digital generation of residents who are home-based professionals. By being mindful of conservation, quality-of-life factors, fiscal logic and the fulfillment of La Plata’s desire to retain its character but also flourish economically, The HUB will be a hallmark for Southern Maryland and beyond.”