National Capital Planning Commission

Plans & Studies

The Downtown DC Business Improvement District honored NCPC and CFA on December 3, 2009 for their work on the Monumental Core Framework Plan. The 2009 Downtown Partnership/Program Momentum Award recognizes people, projects, and organizations that have made Downtown Washington a more vibrant, inviting, and smart place to live and work. Read more >>

Award Recipients at Ceremony
NCPC Executive Director Marcel Acosta, Downtown BID Executive Director Richard Bradley, and CFA Secretary Thomas Luebke


Monumental Core Framework Plan

Washington, D.C. can become more livable and sustainable by transforming federal land
in the heart of the city.


The character and condition of the National Mall have changed tremendously over the last 30 years.

New memorials and museums have altered its appearance and attracted more visitors. Increases in both programmed events and everyday use have taken their toll.

These trends—combined with a need for new security measures—create difficulties for maintaining the National Mall’s open views and historic design.

A comprehensive planning approach is required to ensure that the National Mall can:

  • Sustainably accommodate public gatherings and political demonstrations
  • Maintain its dignified appearance
  • Meet the needs of routine users

Creating places around the National Mall for new museums, memorials, and public gatherings will ease pressure on this important space.


With a coordinated approach to land use, urban design, and transportation, many parcels of federal land surrounding the Mall could provide these opportunities.

Local residents and daily commuters can enjoy the benefits of a more livable city; the whole nation will have a National Mall that can be sustained for future generations.


NCPC developed the Monumental Core Framework Plan with the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts as a comprehensive guide to planning for the areas surrounding the National Mall.

The plan was adopted by the CFA on March 19, 2009, and received a unanimous approval from the NCPC on April 2, 2009.

Underutilized sites like 10th Street Overlook and the Kennedy Center Plaza can be transformed into desirable destinations.


New memorials and cultural attractions can create public spaces and generate opportunities for commercial and residential development.

Districts with high concentrations of federal office buildings, including the Federal Triangle and the Southwest Rectangle, could be enlivened with new streetscapes and mixed-use development.

Improving the pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit links between new development areas and the National Mall will facilitate the flow of people through the entire city center.

Restoring the viewsheds of important corridors will further strengthen the seamless connection between the federal and local elements of the city.

Southwest Ecodistrict Task Force

In December 2009 NCPC convened the Southwest Ecodistrict Task Force to advance the goals of the Framework Plan and apply the goals of Executive Order 13514 to a specific study area in the nation’s capital.

A partnership among federal and local agencies in Washington, DC, the Task Force is working to bring the Framework Plan’s vision to implementation by transforming a precinct south of the National Mall into a series of interconnected and distinguished mixed-use destinations that will serve as a model 21st century ecodistrict.

Within an ecodistrict, building related infrastructure and open space function together to meet sustainability goals such as managing stormwater on-site, reducing energy consumption, and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions. The Task Force will develop a Development Framework Plan and Action Agenda for the Southwest Ecodistrict by mid 2011.

Related Plans & Projects


Comprehensive Plan

Extending the Legacy

Memorials and Museums Master Plan

Southwest Ecodistrict

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