Urban Fold

Smart Growth Wizard Tackles The Nation's Capital

With her new role as the head of the Office of Planning, Harriet Tregoning, a pioneer of the smart growth movement, is set on molding Washington D.C. into a more livable city.

"As the District's new director of the Office of Planning, Tregoning hopes to carry out her vision of D.C. as a transit-based, walkable community with plenty of retail. A place, she says, where middle-income people can afford not only to live -- but also to have enough spending money left over every month to prime the city's economy.

"The District needs to reframe itself as a sustainable, green city," she says. "We need to have the kind of growth and development in our city and region that benefits the environment, enhances our economy, makes it stronger and more robust and engages more of our city in the economy and in civic life. We want to be a place where quality of life and community is so attractive that everybody wants to be here."

A 15-year resident who lives in Adams Morgan, Tregoning says she is aware that not everybody who wants to be a city-dweller can afford to live in the District. Washington is becoming too pricey not only for longtime residents but also for the students and young graduates who start careers at Capitol Hill, K Street and Foggy Bottom.

Tregoning's biggest challenge will be to realize her vision without alienating the development community, which would prefer that the Office of Planning stick to its core mission of reviving troubled neighborhoods, overseeing historic preservation and smoothing the permitting process for new construction."

Full Story: Plan it, Harriet

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