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Greater Washington 2050 is a new regional initiative to improve the quality of life for Washington area residents in the next 50 years by fostering stronger regional awareness, leadership and action today and in the next few years. Led by COG and a coalition of public, business, civic and environmental stakeholders, Greater Washington 2050 will build on what many people now believe is an opportunity for convergence of agreement on big issues of growth, transportation and the environment. Greater Washington 2050 will identify actions that advance areas of agreement, assess progress and measure performance. In short, Greater Washington 2050 seeks to shape the future by supporting sound regional action today.

Sharon Bulova

Chair, Greater Washington 2050 Coalition
Chair, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
In 2008, the COG Board of Directors formed the Greater Washington 2050 Coalition to create a comprehensive vision for the National Capital Region. They invited elected officials, business and civic leaders to guide the initiative to make sure the effort would be inclusive. Rather than launch a new visioning process that could take several years, the 2050 Coalition's challenge was to tie together earlier work in a comprehensive way and set the stage for swift action. The Region Forward© document details the 2050 Coalition’s work and sets forth regional goals, a compact agreement, and targets and indicators to measure success toward the goals. It encourages area jurisdictions, businesses, civic groups and individuals to pledge to work together to meet the Greater Washington 2050 Goals. To show you how the goals and targets are connected, they are presented in categories—Accessibility, Sustainability, Prosperity, and Livability—that explain how this new, comprehensive vision will shape and benefit the region.
Why Plan for the Future?
By 2050, this region will add at least another 2 million residents. Imagine incorporating the population of Houston, Texas into our present-day region. In addition, serious issues threaten our quality of life, such as worsening traffic congestion, a lack of affordable housing, and stark disparities throughout the region in education and health. Newer challenges like aging infrastructure and unpredictable energy costs have made planning for the future more complicated. And the biggest, most urgent, new issue, combating global climate change, cuts across a number of areas from the environment to transportation to land use. If all of those reasons aren’t enough of an incentive to develop a new, comprehensive regional vision, we should also consider our national and global competitors. Metropolitan areas across the world are pledging to work together like never before. Their commitment to a common vision will help them set priorities for new investment and allow them to respond quickly to sudden changes like economic downturns. The regions that tackle their challenges comprehensively will have an edge in the 21st century.

The good news is a shift in thinking is taking place. As we start to see how our key challenges are interconnected, momentum is building to address these issues in a new way and move the region forward toward a better future.

What is the relationship between the Goals, targets, and indicators?
What are the Regional Goals?

Goals are the end state regional outcomes. The goals are the only element that is included in the of the Greater Washington 2050 Compact. They are designed to be comprehensive and broadly set forth a framework for future regional decisions and policy.

What are the Regional Targets?
In most cases the targets are specific measurable milestones based on available data that can be used to determine whether a goal has been achieved. Targets utilize various time periods, some are annual and others utilize a longer horizon, such as the years 2012, 2020 or 2050. The targets were designed to judge the region as a whole, rather than measuring individual jurisdictions.

What are the Regional Indicators?

The Greater Washington 2050 indicators are secondary measures to track progress towards achieving the Greater Washington 2050 Goals.

What does it mean for a Jurisdiction to sign the Greater Washington 2050 Compact?
It means a jurisdiction pledges to use their best efforts to advance the regional goals in the Compact

How often will progress towards the targets and indicators be reported?
It is anticipated that the regional targets and indicators will be reported on in a comprehensive progress report every 3-4 years. These will be reported to the COG Board, recommendations for modifying the targets and indicators will also be included in this review to reflect evolving regional priorities.


A new initiative by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
© 2008 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments