DC Ecodistrict Approved By National Capital Planning Commission

  • January 11th 2013

by Shilpi Paul

DC Ecodistrict Approved By National Capital Planning Commission: Figure 1
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.

DC Ecodistrict Approved By National Capital Planning Commission: Figure 2
10th Street SW now. Courtesy of Google Maps.

DC Ecodistrict Approved By National Capital Planning Commission: Figure 3
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.

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

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