Ft. Belvoir a Model for U.S. Military's Mixed-Use Mission

As the U.S. military infuses smart growth principles into the planning for its bases, leaders can learn from one facility located south of Washington, DC that's been able to accommodate dramatic growth with smart planning and innovative initiatives.
August 9, 2013, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Ft. Belvoir, just south of Washington, DC, has been infusing military base planning with a smart growth mentality since before it was cool," writes Tanya Snyder. "While new guidelines in the past year have compelled all U.S. bases to start building smarter and more efficiently, Ft. Belvoir has been working under a master plan that champions walkability and connectivity since 1993. But two major changes in the last decade forced the base to put all the pieces together and become a true trailblazer in on-base livability."

Snyder examines how "Ft. Belvoir’s skilled planners" have been able to weave smart growth principles into the base's DNA while managing the privatization of its housing and accommodating a near doubling of its daytime population.

"Ft. Belvoir is a 'mythbuster,' according to planner Jill Schreifer of the Urban Collaborative, which works with many military installations and helped write the new rules for master planning for the entire Department of Defense. With a good plan and good leadership, the base has proven how enhanced livability measures can make a military installation more useful to the people who live and work on it — especially when their number doubles over the course of a few short years."

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Published on Thursday, August 8, 2013 in DC.Streetsblog
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