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It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: We assume families don’t want to live downtown, we therefore don’t design for family, and, sure enough, families don’t come, or they don’t stay.

Brent Toderian, Vox

Archive for Washington D.C.

June 25, 2017
DC Councilmember Wants to Adopt State Government Titles
Greater Greater Washington

DC Councilmember David Grosso wants to start calling DC’s mayor its governor, for the council to be the “legislative assembly,” and for councilmembers to be referred to as “representatives.” Would Grosso’s idea move the District anywhere closer to statehood?

June 21, 2017
Columbia, MD, Early Smart Growth City, Turns 50
Greater Greater Washington

One part real estate project, one part social experiment, Columbia, Maryland is one of the most ambitious and successful planned communities ever built in the United States. It turns 50 this week.

June 19, 2017
MD Lawmakers Plan to Remake Metro, Let Jurisdictions Pay
Washington Post

Ten Maryland legislators are proposing a radical overhaul of Metro’s board and a flexible, equitably shared funding plan that would yield the $500 million in dedicated funding proposed by Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld.

June 18, 2017
Why the K Street Streetcar Will Succeed, if DC Builds It
Greater Greater Washington

If DC extends the streetcar west to downtown and Georgetown, it’s going to be more like light rail, much faster, and more reliable than the H St. line. It would be the linchpin for making streetcars in DC a success overall, and would become one of America’s best surface rail lines.

June 12, 2017
June 8, 2017
June 6, 2017
June 5, 2017
Tyson’s Corner Crosswalk Takes Three Years To Build
WAMU

Just before the Silver Line celebrates its 3rd birthday, Fairfax Co. officials have announced that completed crosswalks are finally coming to a massive intersection that typifies the Tysons of yore — the sprawling office park where pedestrians and cyclists dare not tread.

June 1, 2017
Modernist Condos Usher New Wave of D.C. Architecture
Washington Post

“What we’re seeing is a real appetite for avant-garde and contemporary, modern spaces. We’ve predicted for years that people would start to demand exceptional design, and I think we’ve arrived at that moment”.

Hair Salon Illuminates Gentrification, Race in D.C.
Greater Greater Washington

Derek Hyra has released a new book, Race, Class,and Politics in the Cappuccino City, which looks at issues over racial, income, and other changes in the Shaw/U Street area as a microcosm of similar changes happening around the city and the U.S. We are pleased to present a few excerpts.

Reston’s Zoning Revision Generating Pushback to Growth
The Connection

The Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning wants to amend the zoning ordinance for Reston, but it was met with a lot of grief during three community meetings this month on May 3 and May 15 at the North County Governmental Center and May 24 at Lake Anne Elementary School.

May 30, 2017
After Judge Rules Against D.C.’s Purple Line, MD Pushes Back
WAMU

Federal Judge Richard Leon issued his final ruling on Maryland’s planned Purple Line light rail system this morning, and shortly afterward the state attorney general’s office said it would appeal his decision to toss out the project’s contested ridership estimates.

May 29, 2017
In Dense Neighborhood, New Signal Favors Peds
Washington Post

City planners will install the District’s second traffic signal that allows pedestrian crossings in every direction, including diagonally, next month in Columbia Heights — a move that prioritizes pedestrians over cars in a dense, multimodal neighborhood.

Infrastructure Week Needs Less Inside-the-Beltway Talk
Next City

At Infrastructure Week, we sat in a room and talked to the same old faces. We espoused the same rhetoric about the same problems telling all the familiar faces about jobs, the economy, jobs, crumbling bridges, jobs and jobs.

May 25, 2017
The Case For Preserving Brutalist Architecture
Washington Post

Clearly, the D.C. Metro system has bigger things to worry about — safety, reliability, plummeting ridership — than the color of its stations. Yet its Union Station prompts tantalizing questions about the future of the world’s most polarizing architectural style.

May 24, 2017
Does Purple Line Ruling Make Every Road Project Invalid?
Greater Greater Washington

Judge Richard Leon says an Environmental Impact Statement for the Purple Line is invalid because since it was prepared, Metro ridership has declined. By this reasoning, many have asked, isn’t every EIS for every road project equally invalid?

May 23, 2017
Md. Governor Accuses Purple Line Judge of Conflict
Washington Post

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has publicly criticized a federal judge weighing whether to allow the state to begin building the Purple Line, saying the judge is biased because of where he lives and his wife’s connection to a group that has opposed the light-rail project.

May 19, 2017
615 Foot Tysons Skyscraper Proposal
Greater Greater Washington

If Fairfax County approves the plans, a skyscraper taller than any in the Chesapeake Bay region could soon rise in Tysons Corner.

May 18, 2017
Suffering the Consequences of Banning Rowhouses
Greater Greater Washington

The Washington region’s dramatic undersupply of missing middle housing is a serious and well-documented problem. One reason it’s so severe: Arlington banned rowhouses in 1938.

Can Streetcar Tunnels be Art Space?
Washington City Paper

As growing cities like D.C. hurtle to prosperity after decades of decline, some of them face an unexpected problem: what to do with the defunct but captivating spaces hidden beneath their streets.

May 17, 2017
Ramps Help Ducks into DC Reflecting Pools
Greater Greater Washington

As of Monday, there are little ramps leading into and out of the Capitol Reflecting Pool at Union Square. But they’re not for you and me to have easier access to a quick swim. They’re for ducks!

May 14, 2017
Is Elon Musk The Next Robert Moses?
Greater Greater Washington

There are all kinds of legitimate questions about whether Musk’s ideas will work, but there’s another matter at hand too: would they perpetuate racial and class inequalities that exist as a result of previous urban planning, or would they help alleviate them?

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