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Working to Ease Gentrification Around D.C.'s Ambitious 11th Street Bridge Project

From the beginning of the proposal for the new 11th Street Bridge between Anacostia and Capitol Hill, planners and designers have promised to prevent the displacement of residents living nearby the new amenities offered by the bridge and its park.
April 12, 2017, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Shaun Courtney reports on the latest efforts to ease the effects of gentrification and displacement around the 11th Street Bridge project in the works to provide a pedestrian connection between Capitol Hill and Anacostia, across the Anacostia River.

Back in 2015, the project made news for its deliberate focus on equity and gentrification; now, with the project expected to be complete in 2019, we're seeing some of those ideas in action.

According to Courtney, the project’s director, Scott Kratz, is "focused on making sure residents on the Anacostia side lock in a chance to profit from rising property values before being priced out." More specifically, "Besides helping train residents for jobs building the bridge, [Kratz and his team are] working with City First Homes to establish a community land trust to permanently preserve affordable housing around it. They’ve also partnered with the nonprofit Manna to support homeownership opportunities through first-time-homebuyer clubs—24 members have moved into new homes so far."

In addition to those community development and social equity efforts on the periphery of the project, Courtney also lists the ways the design of the Bridge Park, created by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the landscape-architecture firm Olin Studio, "is meant to encourage social and economic equality, too." To do so, the design calls for free spaces, a sloping "X" design to encourage interaction, a study of nearby urban farms, and art installations to invite more residents on the Anacostia side of the river.

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Published on Monday, April 10, 2017 in Washingtonian
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