National Capital Planning Commission
Newsletter — July 2012

Draft SW Ecodistrict Plan Released

At its July 12 Commission meeting NCPC released the draft SW Ecodistrict Plan for a 60-day public comment period that continues through September 10, 2012. The plan proposes innovative ideas to transform a 15-block predominantly federal precinct south of the National Mall into a sustainable and livable neighborhood by targeting four focus areas: Maryland Avenue, 10th Street, the Southwest Freeway, and the space between Independence and Maryland Avenues.

“We have the opportunity to transform a disconnected area and once again make it a vital part of the city,” explained NCPC Chairman L. Preston Bryant, Jr.

The SW Ecodistrict Plan establishes the district as a showcase of sustainable urban development, reconnects the Mall to the Southwest waterfront, and makes room for nationally significant memorials, museums, and events.

On July 19 at 6:30 p.m., NCPC hosts a public meeting where the community is invited to learn more about the plan and provide feedback. Comments can also be given online.

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Next Commission Meeting
September 6, 2012
New Start Time — 1:00 PM

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Comment on the Comp Plan — Environment Element

At a June 28 public forum, members of the community joined NCPC staff to discuss how the Environment Element can best respond to the latest federal sustainability policies. Participants learned more about NCPC’s proposed updates to the element and engaged in a lively discussion about a wide variety of issues. Dialogue focused primarily on the three newest policy areas proposed for the element, including light pollution, energy conservation, and climate change. The public is encouraged to watch this forum online and provide feedback about proposed element updates.

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center Review

Preliminary plans for a visitor center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Lincoln Memorial’s northern grounds were approved at NCPC’s July Commission meeting. The proposed underground center will educate the public about both the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The design envisions a two level, approximately 37,000 gross square foot visitor center with enough space for three major exhibits: Making the Names Visible, The Wall Collect, and The History Timeline. The center will return to NCPC for final review in late 2012 or early 2013.

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Beyond Granite: The AIDS Memorial Quilt

In July 2012, the AIDS Memorial Quilt celebrates 25 years since it was first displayed on the National Mall. As a living memorial that has traveled the globe and been seen by over 20 million people, the Quilt is a prime example of non-traditional commemoration that goes beyond conventional structures of stone and granite.

NCPC spoke with NAMES Project Executive Director Julie Rhoad, Smithsonian Folklife Festival Director Stephen Kidd, and Anne Balsamo of the Quilt 2012 Digital Experience, about what makes the AIDS Memorial Quilt so powerful, and its potential influence on the nature of commemoration in Washington.

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NCPC Wins Awards

NAGC Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards

NCPC recently received two first place awards from the National Association of Government Communicators’ 2012 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards program. This program recognizes government communication products in various outreach categories. The 2011 NCPC Year in Review won this honor in the annual report category, while the materials produced for the Speaker Series event Meet-RIC—Introducing the Homeland Security Regional Innovation Cluster won first place in the conference materials category.

Local ASLA Chapter Wins National Community Service Award

The ASLA Potomac Chapter/ACE Mentor Legacy Program received the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Community Service Award for their Coolidge High School campus beautification master plan. This award applauds practitioners who serve the community and uphold the principal values of landscape architecture. Several NCPC staff members played key roles in the local chapter’s work to design and build a greenhouse garden and outdoor classroom for the high school in Northwest Washington,DC.

Learn More about the NAGC Awards
Learn More about the ASLA Award