COG Map Highlights Centers Essential to Region’s Growth and
Washington, D.C. – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) voted unanimously today to approve an updated set of Activity Centers for metropolitan Washington. The centers will be used by COG and local governments to support land use planning, help guide investments in infrastructure and development, and analyze growth.
While the Centers vary in scale and type, the basic concept behind them is the same: concentrated development in areas that will have the planning and infrastructure in place to support it. By focusing growth in Activity Centers, the region will improve connections between housing and jobs, reduce environmental impact, and make better use of limited funds. The Centers will also promote development around area transit such as Silver Line Metro stations in Northern Virginia and Green Line Metro stations in Prince George’s County, Maryland. About two-thirds of Centers are or will be served by the region’s rail transit network of Metrorail, commuter rail and light rail.
The goal for this latest update was to make the Centers more broadly useful. To do so, more targeted and specific criteria were used to designate Centers. The new criteria are primarily based on targets in COG’s Region Forward vision and the Centers were vetted by local government planning departments.
The Activity Centers map update is a necessary step in the development of an upcoming Strategic Investment Plan currently underway by COG’s Region Forward Coalition. By pointing out the specific elements (i.e., sidewalks, ground-level retail, fresh food, parks) that each Center is lacking or could improve upon, the Investment Plan will help local governments determine how best to use limited resources.