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washington dc

World Wildlife Fund HQ's Green Roof Is Washington's 3rd Largest

Sedums galore!

WWF's U.S. HQ's green roof was built to conserve resources, limit waste & pollution, and protect the environment. It has 11 types sedum plants, a solar water heating system and is the 3rd largest green roof in Washington DC.[read more]

When “Parking” Meant “Making Space for Trees”

June 2, 2015 by Leda Marritz

Washington DC 1915

Once upon a time 'parking' on streets meant 'making land available for trees', as in a law passed by the US Congress on April 6, 1870 authorizing the city of Washington DC to set aside up to 50 percent of the width of a street for the creation of “parks for trees and walks”. Senate debated whether to have “the parking on either side of the street and the roadway in the center” or to have the “parking” in the center of the street.[read more]


These Smart Maps Visualize the City You Have to Help Get the City You Want

June 24, 2014 by David Thorpe

Public transit efficiency in Lower Manhattan.

A new project at MIT Media Labs called You Are Here, led by Sep Kamvar, of the Social Computing Group has given itself a task of creating 100 different maps of 100 different US cities. Here we look at three maps showing greenspace extent, public transit efficiency and cycle accident locations.[read more]

Urban Design: Churches of Capitol Hill

October 26, 2013 by Kate Gallery

Churches in Washington, D.C.

Ever walk past the same structures again and again only to look up one day and notice something striking? That’s the manner in which I’ve started to notice the churches of Capitol Hill. There are literally hundreds of them in this big old neighborhood.[read more]

Shutdown in the City: District Blues

October 11, 2013 by Kate Gallery

DC and Government Shutdown

Please try to actually imagine for a moment that New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was told that his great city would not be able or allowed to spend its own money unless Congress approved. Then try to imagine that Congress didn’t.[read more]

Government Shutdown: Glimmers of Hope on the Hill

October 10, 2013 by Kate Gallery

DC Shutdown Fun

For the last few weeks, our neighborhood has been surrounded by chaos. Three weeks ago, it was the mass shooting at the Navy Yard, then it was an isolated shooting outside the Capitol less than 10 blocks to our northwest. This place has boiled over with anger and frustration.[read more]

DC Population and Housing Trends Bode Well for US Central Cities

August 13, 2013 by Kaid Benfield

Washington, D.C. Urban Trends

It’s hard to believe now, but Washington, DC was a “shrinking city” for six of the last seven decades, having lost population every decade since the 1940s: Indeed, from a high of 802,178 in 1950, the city’s population plummeted to 572,059 in 2000, a drop of 29 percent.[read more]

Prime City Real Estate: The Dupont Underground

September 9, 2012 by Kate Gallery

Can the true life and culture of a city exist beneath its surface? And can it be just as authentic below as it is above? Like those who’ve developed underground spaces elsewhere around the world, the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground thinks it’s possible in Washington.[read more]

Neighborhood Nomad: Julia’s Perspective on Capitol Hill

July 21, 2012 by Kate Gallery

Like so many of us, Julia Christian very deliberately selected a place to call home. Bottom line: She loved it there. But unlike those of us with ultra-nomadic tendencies who land far from the nest, Julia chose to return to the very neighborhood in which she grew up. She decided she simply couldn’t live without Capitol Hill.Julia is a...[read more]

Bike lanes 2.0: now or soon in a city near you

June 4, 2012 by Kaid Benfield

  Cities in the US, including Washington, DC where I live, are making significant investments in bicycling infrastructure.  Two categories that have appeared just in the last decade, for example, are bicycle sharing and urban bike stations where cyclists can store bikes and get repairs.  Bike lanes, or painted stripes...[read more]

Holiday Weekends in the City

May 27, 2012 by Kate Gallery

Image courtesy of author

The Friday night and Saturday morning of a holiday weekend is always a good time to enjoy the city. If you’re staying put, you watch the evening traffic head out, bound for the beach or a weekend with family.You watch the roads clear and things grow a bit quiet, then hear the volume crank up a notch as the neighbors head out for the...[read more]

D.C. Offers a Bold Vision for a More Sustainable Future

May 4, 2012 by The Dirt ASLA

At a historic church in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray said there are either two future directions for the city: “The gaps between us could further divide our city,” or the city could become “greener, more equitable, and more prosperous” for all. Outlining a bold vision for a Sustainable D.C.,...[read more]