Activity Centers

The idea of concentrating growth in specific locations called Activity Centers was considered a visionary goal when it was proposed in the Transportation Planning Board’s Vision in 1998. Today, after years of promotion and cooperation by area leaders, this idea is widely embraced throughout the region. From the District of Columbia to the inner and outer suburbs, vibrant, mixed-use and multiple-use communities have been developed and redeveloped as support for Activity Centers has grown.

COG works with local governments to help support land use planning by analyzing growth and informing leaders and stakeholders on placemaking and development decisions. COG's current Activity Centers Map, developed with local planning officials and the Region Forward Coalition and approved by the COG Board in 2013, represents a significant evolution from previous versions of the map. The current Activity Centers are smaller, more compact, and more walkable than their predecessors. They are also more aligned with the region’s transit network; approximately 70 percent of centers contain existing or planned rail stations. While the 141 Activity Centers on the new map still include major employment centers, mixed-use and multiple-use Centers account for a majority of the centers. Every COG jurisdiction has at least one place designated as an Activity Center.

After the Region Forward Vision re-emphasized Activity Centers as the best strategy for accommodating future growth, COG and its officials focused on how Activity Centers could more effectively shape policy, planning, and investment decisions at the regional and local levels. COG’s Place + Opportunity Report, released in 2014, identifies ten unique types of Activity Centers throughout the region and provides strategies and tools to assist local governments and other regional stakeholders in strengthening their centers. 

News & Multimedia

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  • News

    Tony Costa and GSA's FedScape team receive COG Regional Partnership Award

    December 14, 2016

    COG honored Tony Costa, the Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), and GSA’s FedScape team for their work...

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    Connecting the Region for Housing Choice and Opportunity

    April 14, 2016

    Jurisdictions large and small will be required by HUD to conduct an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) to support their planning efforts to accommodate future...

  • News

    ULI-COG Seek TAP Program Participants to Strengthen Area Activity Centers

    January 28, 2015

    The Urban Land Institute-Washington and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments are encouraging local governments to apply for a new round of Technical...

  • News

    2014 Sees Notable Progress in Achieving Regional Transportation Goals

    December 16, 2014

    When it adopted the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan in January, the Transportation Planning Board highlighted a number of key strategies and priorities...

  • News

    Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton

    November 26, 2014

    Metropolitan Washington is home to Activity Centers and engaged local leaders. Hear Rockville, Maryland Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton speak about the vibrancy of...

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    Time-lapse Through Activity Centers

    September 4, 2014

    To best accommodate future growth take advantage of our transportation infrastructure protect our environment and bolster our economy metropolitan Washington...

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    Metroway Bringing BRT to the Region

    August 27, 2014

    For the first time in our region an international best practice for public transportation has hit the ground in the City of Alexandria and Arlington County: bus...

Results: 78 found.