Landscape Architecture Magazine: CITY, HEAL THYSELF

Thursday, March 9, 2017

By DowntownDC

FROM THE FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

All cities bear scars, evidence of past planning decisions, made with the best of intentions, that affect urban space in negative ways over the following decades. For more than 40 years, Washington, D.C.’s northwest quadrant has suffered a particularly prominent one where the District’s downtown meets the Capitol Hill neighborhood to the east: A three-block-long, 200-foot-wide opening above the depressed Center Leg Freeway (I-395), which runs beneath the nation’s capital from New York Avenue down to the Southeast Freeway (I-695)...

Neil Albert, who was the city’s deputy mayor for planning and economic development from 2006 to 2010, under then-D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, and now heads the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, where Capitol Crossing is located, says, “On the surface, a project like this shouldn’t get done” given the multiple development jurisdictions in the District, “but there was a spirit of collaboration that set in at an early stage. The stars really aligned.” Everyone, that is to say, bought into PGP’s grand vision.

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