Draft Plan Takes Aim at Downtown DC Revitalization

The plan calls for policies that support adaptive reuse, new housing construction, and improved public parks and facilities.

1 minute read

March 25, 2024, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View down Pennsylvania Avenue from above with Capitol dome in background.

Sergey Novikov / Adobe Stock

A Downtown Action Plan for Washington, D.C. provides recommendations for a $400 million, five-year project to revitalize its downtown by encouraging new housing construction and improving public facilities and safety.

As Danielle McLean explains in Smart Cities Dive, “annual tax revenue generated in the busy district has fallen by $243 million since 2019 — a downward trend that could cost D.C. another $193 million over the next five to 10 years without intervention, according to the new action plan summary.”

The plan addresses office vacancies, public safety, and other recent concerns. For one, the plan calls for changes to building height requirements that have held back adaptive reuse projects and new developments.

Additionally, “D.C. plans to support residential population growth downtown by creating a grant program that encourages amenities such as grocery stores, daycare, parks and senior services.”

The plan includes proposals for dynamic parking pricing and Vision Zero projects. “The full version of the plan is slated for release in May.”

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