Small Cities Booming Near Washington D.C.

"Mini D.C.s" provide the successful examples of revitalized, walkable urban places, according to a recent trend piece in the Washington Post.

November 3, 2014, 2:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Frederick Maryland

Dougtone / Flickr

"Many of the same forces fueling Washington’s renaissance are driving a small-city boom regionally and nationally," writes John Woodrow Cox. "From the historic cities of Alexandria, Annapolis and Leesburg to the newer Metro-centric communities of Bethesda and Clarendon, the desire to live within walking distance of restaurants, bars, theaters and parks has revitalized once-withering downtowns…"

The article provides a Washington D.C.-proximate case study of the kind of urban revitalization described by Christopher Leinberger as a walkable urban place, or "WalkUP."

In the Washington region, few places have benefited more from the phenomenon than downtown Frederick, where a flourishing restaurant, bar and art scene has transformed the 18th century county seat into a mini-D.C. In the past five years, the city has added 40 businesses to its eclectic downtown, Frederick officials say, and demand for houses in the most walkable parts of the city has pushed up median home prices.

Throughout, the article maintains that the walkable downtowns of cities like Frederick offer the best of both worlds: the charms and amenities of downtown life without the hassle of a larger city.

Friday, October 31, 2014 in The Washington Post

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