National Capital Planning Commission


NCPC supports the development of effective security systems that preserve the characteristic openness of Washington’s public spaces and enhance the city’s public realm.

Interagency Security Task Force

NCPC's Interagency Security Task Force, which includes members of the Commission along with security professionals from federal and District agencies, was initially convened in March 2001 to address the unsightly appearance of physical security measures in the nation’s capital, and has been re-convened on several occasions since.

Today the Task Force includes representatives from:

  • National Capital Planning Commission
  • District of Columbia Office of Planning
  • District of Columbia Deputy Mayor for Public Safety
  • Department of Homeland Security, ISC
  • Department of Interior (National Park Service)
  • U.S. Secret Service
  • General Services Administration (NCR & Public Building Service)
  • Architect of the Capitol
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Commerce

The Task Force has guided key NCPC accomplishments, including:

Securing the Federal Triangle

The General Services Administration, the Interagency Security Committee (ISC), and staff from NCPC have initiated a joint effort to comprehensively evaluate the physical security needs of the federal agencies located in the Federal Triangle.

The first phase of this initiative, which began in September 2010, documented individual facility security needs and identified potential solutions in accordance with standard ISC procedures.

Phase 2 of this initiative will work to merge security measures with urban design improvements, and develop general public space and security recommendations from a precinct perspective.

The ISC, which was formed by Executive Order following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal office building in Oklahoma City, is charged with establishing security standards for all non-military federal facilities.



Improving President's Park South

In mid-2011, NCPC, in partnership with the U.S. Secret Service and the National Park Service, conducted a design competition to generate ideas to beautify the security components and improve the visitor experience at President’s Park South -- the area south of the White House, including the Ellipse.

A proposal by Rogers Marvel Architects was selected as the winner among the five selected finalists. The results of the design competition will inform the development of alternatives for President’s Park South that will be undertaken by the National Park Service and the U.S. Secret Service.

These alternatives will be examined through a federal and local review and approval process, including a NEPA Environmental Assessment, over the course of the next year.

Policies for Reviewing Projects

In 2005, NCPC updated its official policies for reviewing perimeter security projects. The updated polices reinforce the importance of design quality in the nation's capital, and strive to balance building security with the functional and visual qualities of public space.

These policies are based on the efforts of the agency's 2002 National Capital Urban Design and Security Plan.


Reviewed Projects

Lincoln Memorial Rehabilitation and Perimeter Security
Lincoln Memorial Rehabilitation (March 2010)
Jefferson Memorial Perimeter Security
Jefferson Memorial Perimeter Security
(September 2010)
Perimeter Security at the National Museum of American History
National Museum of American History
(February 2007)

Related Publications

Urban Design and Security Plan

Designing and Testing Perimeter Security Elements

Freight Rail Realignment Study

Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House

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