DC Ecodistrict Approved By National Capital Planning Commission

by Shilpi Paul

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Rendering of the Southwest Ecodistrict

On Thursday, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) approved final plans for the SW Ecodistrict, which will turn 100 acres of concrete jungle in the southwest quadrant of the city into a green, walkable and sustainable area.

The plan has been in development for several years; approval from the NCPC means that the commission will use the plans when evaluating and making recommendations for development proposals in the area, according to a press release. The complete SW Ecodistrict plan is available here.

The plan for the SW Ecodistrict focuses on the area bounded by Independence Avenue, Maine Avenue, 12th Street and 4th Street SW. In short, it will dismantle concrete monoliths, reconnect avenues, create renewable energy sources and add significant pedestrian and park space. 10th Street will be the new spine of the neighborhood.

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10th Street SW now. Courtesy of Google Maps.
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The new vision for 10th Street SW. Courtesy of NCPC.

Specifically, plans call for adding 2.8 million square feet of office space, 1.8 million square feet of residential and hotel space and significant park space; reconnecting the quadrant to the National Mall by opening up avenues that are currently blocked off or inhospitable, like Virginia Avenue and 10th Street; and decking Maryland Avenue to connect the area. Plans also include rehabilitating enormous buildings like the DOE headquarters into smaller buildings that allow pedestrians to comfortably walk on nearby streets, and revitalizing Banneker Park and Reservation 113.

Several District and Federal agencies, including DC’s Office of Planning, have been collaborating to create the plan. Though it may take several decades to implement, Thursday’s approval marks an important step in the process.

See other articles related to: sw ecodistrict

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/sw_ecodistrict_approved_by_national_capitol_planning_commission/6507

5 Comments

  1. J said at 10:22 am on Friday January 11, 2013:

    Lame and a waste of money

  1. David said at 3:51 pm on Friday January 11, 2013:

    Disappointing that this will take “several decades.”

  1. Ryan said at 11:54 am on Saturday January 12, 2013:

    Only in DC could this project take decades.  It could be done in 3 years max.  Needs more housing and street level retail space if it’s ever going to be a livable, welcoming area.

  1. Adam L said at 12:05 pm on Monday January 14, 2013:

    @Ryan

    Most of the plans revolve around the federal government building replacement HQ for many of the agencies located in the area. Could that be done in 3 years? Maybe. Likely? Yeah, right.

    Also, you’re forgetting the large amount of housing that’s going directly next to this location - the Wharf at the Southwest Waterfront.

  1. Roger said at 5:27 pm on Monday January 14, 2013:

    @Ryan, how spoiled have we become that we wonder why a massive redevelopment can’t be accomplished in less than 3 years??  We forget how far this city has come that these types of projects are even contemplated. Even more importantly, almost every city and town in the country can only dream of this type of redevelopment. Patience is a virtue, but so is humility.

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