Region Forward Blog

Time-lapse Through Activity Centers

Sep 4, 2014
Metro Center as Activity Center (photo and video by Bryan Hayes)


To best accommodate future growth take advantage of our transportation infrastructure protect our environment and bolster our economy metropolitan Washington must concentrate more development in Activity Centers.

These are the 141 hubs identified by the Council of Governments where our region needs to grow. In 2013 COG approved a new map of these centers based on new planning criteria and input from local governments. Earlier this year we published Place Opportunity a report featuring a variety of strategies for different types of centers to inform planning and development decisions. In addition the recent Regional Transportation Priorities Plan by the Transportation Planning Board at COG offers several strategies to build stronger centers.

While these centers come in different shapes and sizes they are all supposed to be (or will become) vibrant places. For a window into the ‘activity’ that makes these centers dynamic and encourage more attention to our region’s future growth and development COG is producing a series of time-lapse videos in the coming weeks. This week’s video features Metro Center (or Convention Center as our map identifies it ) in the District of Columbia. Our Place Opportunity report classifies Convention Center’s “place type” as Urban Center places having the strongest markets and highest densities among the Activity Centers. As you can see from the video this Center has a strong street network a mix of office and retail uses and a range of transportation modes – all factors that facilitate a high level of pedestrian activity.

Metro Center (Convention Center Activity Center) Timelapse from COG Video on Vimeo.

The timelapse below features Capitol Riverfront (Navy Yard). In Place Opportunity Capitol Riverfront’s place type is Dense Mixed-Use Center and its opportunity type is Connected Core. It has the foundation of a strong urban form and is well connected internally and externally with strong job access by transit. Recommended strategies for this Activity Center focus on targeted project- or site-specific market interventions to enhance the quality of place including infill development that complements the existing mix of land uses and additional parks and public spaces.

Capitol Riverfront Timelapse from COG Video on Vimeo.

We encourage you to create your own videos too. Through stop motion our team used a camera and tripod and stitched together the images into a video. However you can do this just as well using your smartphone. Tweet your video to us at the MWCOG Twitter handle @RegionForward. And stay tuned for more videos featuring additional centers.


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