Second River, Second Chance

Following generations of economic development in the north and west of Washington, DC, growth is now turning to the eastern half of the city, toward the Anacostia River.

The Anacostia River has long been the District of Columbia’s neglected “second” river in relation to the better-known Potomac. The District of Columbia Office of Planning selected NBBJ to produce the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Framework Plan as part of its larger Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI), the goal of which is to reinvigorate the city’s southeast sector.

The AWI envisions the river as the center of a vital and prospering city, rather than an economic and cultural divide. The Framework Plan encompasses the entire length of the river and adjacent neighborhoods, making recommendations in five interrelated courses of action: transportation improvements; the creation of a great urban waterfront park system; environmental sustainability; potential sites for cultural and historical destinations; and the reconnection of neighborhoods and schools to waterfront recreation along new trails, transit lines and commercial growth corridors.