Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative

Take a stroll along the 10th Street and Maryland Avenue corridors in Southwest DC and it won’t take long to see how they are both visually and physically disconnected from the rest of the city. They also lack the residential, cultural, and retail uses of a dynamic community. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

NCPC's Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative is a comprehensive effort to re-imagine a 15-block area of Southwest DC—bounded by Independence Avenue to the north, Maine Avenue to the south, 12th Street to the west, and 4th Street to the east.

Working in coordination with the District Office of Planning and other local and federal agencies, planners at NCPC aim to transform the area into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly destination that is also a model of sustainable urban development and infrastructure practices.

As a first step in the planning process, NCPC and its partners invited the public to learn about the Initiative at a meeting at the USDA building on February 17, 2011. Members of the public asked questions about the initiative, and provided input and feedback into the planning process for the area—which currently comprises approximately 110 acres of private and publicly owned land, and is bisected by freeways, rail lines and large single-use blocks.

Map of SW Ecodistrict Boundaries

NCPC believes the Southwest Ecodistrict is an extraordinary opportunity to show how the federal government can contribute to the creation of vibrant neighborhoods, while advancing innovative sustainable development practices for a precinct of buildings, related infrastructure, and open space.

With guidance from public and private land owners, office workers, and the public, planners NCPC and OP will analyze revitalization alternatives and prepare site specific recommendations and an action agenda for improving these important precincts near the National Mall and the city’s emerging waterfront communities.

Rendering of future 10th street corridor

The 10th Street corridor is the heart of the Southwest Ecodistrict. The new plan will extend the civic amenities of the National Mall by identifying prominent sites for future cultural destinations and achieve a mixed-use corridor that contributes to the vitality of the federal workforce and the District. It will examine the infill and redevelopment potential of federal properties, such as the Forrestal Complex, U.S. Postal Service, and 10th Street Overlook.

Maryland Avenue—on axis with the U.S. Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial—is a railway corridor that bisects the study area. Although the avenue is situated between such prominent vistas, only two short segments of the avenue actually exist today. The DC Office of Planning is initiating the Maryland Avenue SW Plan as its contribution to the Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative. The effort will include an analysis of potential infill sites adjacent to the CSX railway corridor and L’Enfant Plaza between 6th and 12th Streets, SW.