CapitalSpace is a partnership initiative of the National Capital Planning Commission, the National Park Service, and the District of Columbia to develop shared strategies for working together on parks and open space throughout Washington, D.C., particularly in the city’s neighborhoods. The CapitalSpace plan represents the first time in almost 40 years that a comprehensive analysis of all of Washington’s parks and open spaces has been undertaken.
The Commission adopted the final CapitalSpace Plan on April 1, 2010. Commission staff continues to work with partnering agencies to implement the plan’s recommendations. Civic leaders, organizations, and individuals helped shape the plan through comments and opinions shared during the plan's development.
Table of Contents and Overview [PDF 1.45MB]
This section includes the Plan's Vision, Planning Concepts, Overview of the Six Big Ideas and Implementation Strategy.
About Washington's Parks [PDF 1.88MB]
This section discusses the current state of Washington's parks and open space system, the challenges and opportunities in the cultural, historic, and ecological resources found in the park system and the benefits of parks and open spaces to the nation's capital.
Six Big Ideas [4.39MB]
This section discusses the opportunities and challenges, as well as the CapitalSpace recommendations for the Six Big Ideas. It also features model projects for some of them.
Moving the Plan Forward [PDF 531KB]
This section identifies Key Priority Actions for the CapitalSpace partnership and implementation strategies that capitalize on the CapitalSpace partnership's ability to work together to address park issues and needs that are best tackled through the partnership's coordinated efforts.
Acknowledgements [PDF 222KB]
The CapitalSpace partners envision a beautiful, high-quality,and unified park system for the nation’s capital that:
In collaboration with:
During the last 200 years, Washington's park system has been shaped by many forces — prominent plans, legislation, public works, private initiatives - and a variety of agencies have been charged with developing and managing these open spaces. Today, several District and federal agencies oversee the planning, development, operation, and maintenance of these lands. Through CapitalSpace these agencies have joined together to coordinate existing management plans, maximize limited resources, and create a stronger park system for the city.
The District's primary recreation provider is the Department of Parks and Recreation whose mission is to maintain the District's parks and open spaces and provide diverse recreational opportunities to residents and visitors. Agencies such as the District of Columbia Office of Planning, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Environment also play key roles in planning, building, and maintaining parks and open space through broader community development strategies.
Almost 90 percent of the city's parkland — more than 6,900 acres including Rock Creek Park, the National Mall, Anacostia Park, and the Fort Circle Parks — is part of the National Park System. The National Park Service, whose mission is to preserve the nation's natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of all generations, is responsible for managing these parks. Two other federal agencies, the National Capital Planning Commission and the US Commission of Fine Arts, plan for and review proposed development that might impact Washington's parks and open spaces.
The CapitalSpace partners are working closely with the DC Public Schools which provides 30 percent of the city's playgrounds and fields, and the General Services Administration (GSA) that oversees many of the open spaces at federal facilities that are not part of the park system.
Many nonprofit organizations and private citizens also contribute to Washington's parks and open spaces by providing financial support and volunteers who help maintain the parks and provide technical expertise to help plan new parks or park improvements. The CapitalSpace partners are coordinating efforts with these groups as well.
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