Solving the Identity Crisis

Solving the Identity Crisis

Friends of White Flint has been around for seven years now and, for about as long, questions have abounded about what we should call this amazing place we’re creating.  You’ve seen articles and polls and questionnaires asking for your opinion on the subject.  Are we White Flint?  North Bethesda?  NoBeSoRo (that’s North Bethesda South Rockville)? Something brand new?  The bottom line problem is that there’s no consensus on the subject.

We have a post from back in 2009 by our indefatigable Barnaby Zall (click here) which quotes the original White Flint Advisory Group on the subject:

Image and Identity:    There is a consensus on the need for a unifying identity, but no consensus on what that name or identity should be. The Advisory Group put off further discussion on this point. There was a proposal to create a separate working group to create an image and explore means to “brand” the image; the working group could review information such as the public opinion work done by some developers in creating their project names (which include both White Flint and North Bethesda in titles).

And, we have a post from just last year (click here) weighing the varying options.  But, until the landowners within our sector can agree on a name that they’ll work together to brand and market, we’re all stuck in limbo.  This, though, is what makes current events so exciting!

Finally, the question of our identity crisis is coming to a head and, with luck, we’ll have some solid direction before the summer is out.  As reported yesterday by Bethesda Magazine (click here), an alternative to renaming the whole redevelopment sector is to break it into neighborhoods.  So, the area around White Flint Mall might retain the name White Flint while other pockets of redevelopment might adopt other names.

The bottom line remains that we aren’t within the city limits of Rockville, so that name doesn’t make sense.  The borders of North Bethesda range far wider than the redevelopment sector, so that doesn’t quite fit either.  Whether we continue with the name White Flint or switch to something new, an education, marketing and branding campaign will be needed.  So, it’s time to get moving.  Stay tuned to this blog and our weekly emails for how you, as our Friends, can help with the effort.

And, please come to our next Friends of White Flint meeting next week. This subject will be on the agenda. Click here for more information on that!

Lindsay Hoffman


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