Region Forward Blog

The Silver Line is open! Now how can area leaders best shape the communities along the corridor?

Jul 30, 2014
Tysons Silver Line Metro Station. Photo by Matt Kroneberger.


So with the Silver Line up-and-running and the second phase to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County scheduled to open in 2018 what will this mean for the different business and residential hubs a.k.a. Activity Centers along the corridor like Tysons Reston and Herndon? And what are the strategic investments area leaders should consider making around these centers to advance our region’s economic housing and development goals?

COG’s Place Opportunity report offers some insight. The report examined 92 centers throughout the region including several Silver Line communities and grouped them according to similar characteristics and challenges. It then presented a variety of strategies for different types of centers in order to inform government leaders and stakeholders on planning and development decisions. While these centers come in various shapes and sizes some communities share common challenges and could benefit from similar initiatives.

COG’s Place Opportunity project partners of local and national planning groups included RCLCO Reconnecting America Urban Imprint and Mobility Lab.

The following is a map and summary from the report on the Silver Line Corridor. For more information please download the full report.

Silver Line Corridor - Activity Centers from COG Place   Opportunity Report

Silver Line Corridor – Activity Centers from COG Place Opportunity Report

Tysons Segment: The Tysons segment of the Silver Line is a strong urban market and one of the region’s major job centers. The Tysons segment will have four new Metrorail stations (and four Activity Centers) on the Silver Line and priorities for these Centers include expanding all housing types (particularly to provide more affordable housing options) and community resources and investing in infrastructure to improve the public realm and walkability. The development of more affordable and workforce housing in Tysons would provide low-to-moderate income households with access to its many employers. Amenities and infrastructure such as grocery stores parks public spaces and pedestrian features will help lay a strong foundation for a dynamic urban environment. Tysons is one of the region’s most prominent examples of a planned transformation from an auto-oriented employment center to a walkable mixed-use urban community.

Reston–Herndon Segment: This segment of the Silver Line includes Wiehle/Reston East Reston Town Center and Herndon. Reston Town Center is the most urbanized area and is classified as a Dense Mixed-Use Center. Wiehle/Reston East and Herndon are both suburban neighborhoods characterized by a horizontal mix of uses. This section of the corridor has good real estate market fundamentals and is urbanizing in character. Wiehle/Reston East and Herndon may need more incentives to realize mixed-use vertical development.

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