The fifteen blocks downtown that mostly consist of bland office buildings for federal workers will get a design overhaul that will bring in kiosks and benches, green walls, rooftop vegetable gardens, and trees. It is going to take seventeen years to come to fruition, but late last week the National Capitol Planning Commission approved the plan for the officially-titled Southwest Ecodistrict that will turn the parcel of land roughly bordered by Independence Avenue and Maine Avenue between 12th and 4th Streets into a walkable, less fortress-like place.
One of the stars of the show is going to be 10th Street, which at the moment seems like a corridor of no-man's land between two swaths of office buildings. Once the backbone of the plan is in place it will start to fill in with coffee shops, outdoor eating venues, and not to mention all the fixings that make a greenie's heart warm with happiness (grey water management systems, solar panels, LED lighting, etc.). Getting the NCPC's approval is no small task since they have to approve all the hundreds of projects within this overall vision, so that means work is much closer to getting underway. Browse through the gallery to see the maps! details! aerial renderings! Or, if you have forty-five minutes to spare you can watch the video presenting the plan to the Commission.
· Southwest Eco District [Official Site]
· SW Ecodistrict Commission Presentation [NCPC]
· The Seventeen Year Plan To Make SW Much Less Crappy [CDC]