Wednesday, July 14, 2004

ANACOSTIA: Mayor Gets OK for Redevelopment Corp.; Forgey Looks at Southwest

The D.C. City Council has given Mayor Anthony Williams the OK to form an Anacostia redevelopment corporation, charged with the job of rebuilding the city's waterfront from the Maine Avenue Fish Market to the National Arbortetum.

From The Washington Post:
The plan has generally been embraced by the federal government, which has allocated millions of dollars to clean the river and for roads and bridges and will be asked for hundreds of millions during the next two decades. Developers are also going to be expected to significantly fund riverfront projects. Support from the city will include valuable parcels of land, future tax revenue from new projects, and transportation, housing and community development dollars.

"Anacostia Shore's Evolution Launched" [The Washington Post]
Anacostia Riverfront Initiative [D.C. Office of Planning]

Forgey Examines the Southwest Waterfront. Washington Post architecture critic Benjamin Forgey takes a look at the city's Southwest waterfront in the third part of his five-part series on the Anacostia waterfront initiative.

Forgey starts out with such wit:
The Southwest waterfront is one of the few places in Washington where the city busily engages the water's edge.

A place where people live. An active, interesting place that people walk to from nearby streets, mingling with fish sellers, fishermen, folks hanging out at waterside restaurants and bars, families out for an evening stroll.

Oops. Time warp. That reality was eons ago. Back before much of the neighborhood was bulldozed in the 1960s to make way for something new.

In a nutshell, Forgey says that the area has such potential, but is a relic of old, failed planning ideas.

The overarching error, of course, was the failure to put people back in residences at the center of the waterfront. Post-World War II planners believed strongly that cities would be greatly improved if people were to live, work and play in zones that are separate and distinct. The Southwest waterfront is a testament to that idea.

"A Vision for the Southwest" [The Washington Post]


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