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By 2030, D.C. Will Have an 'Ecodistrict' South of National Mall

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By 2030, the southwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. will be transformed from a "pedestrian dead-zone" into an incredibly sustainable, "high-performance" showcase. South of the National Mall, 115 acres will be reconstructed to cut greenhouse gases by half, reduce energy use by nearly half, and lower the consumption of potable water by about 70 percent, according to WAMU. 17 federal and local agencies have joined to create and accomplish their goal to create what they call "SW Ecodistrict" with construction phases spread out over 10 years. The project will add 4 million-square-feet of office, residential, and cultural space over a span of 15 blocks. Several federal buildings, including the Department of Energy James V. Forrestal Building, will be demolished. The new developments will have more natural light and "a district energy system" that will heat, cool, and create energy for the buildings through co-generation (a process of utilizing of the steam left over from electricity generation to produce heat).

Some of the proposed ideas for the SW Ecodistrict include expanding L'Enfant Station to create more green spaces. From Virginia Avenue to Maryland Avenue, the plan for 10th Street is to create an "urban garden promenade" with a linear garden of trees, water features, and bioswales. As of yet, no plans are set in stone, so the vision for the SW Ecodistrict is pretty flexible, according to Diane Sullivan, senior urban planner with the National Capital Planning Commission. According to WAMU, the SW Ecodistrict is bounded by Independence Avenue to the north, 12th Street to the west, and Sixth Street to the east. The development also includes Banneker Park at the end of L'Enfant Promenade.

· How D.C. Is Turning A 'Pedestrian Dead-Zone' Into An Eco-Showcase [WAMU]