Region Forward Targets

To help measure progress toward its goals for metropolitan Washington, Region Forward includes targets and indicators grouped by overarching categories—prosperity, accessibility, livability, and sustainability. These targets and indicators evaluate progress at the regional scale rather than jurisdiction by jurisdiction. A baseline evaluation report of the region’s performance on these targets was undertaken in 2012. In 2015, several targets and indicators were measured as part of the State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report. (These targets have been updated since the vision was originally released.) 

Prosperity Targets

  • Sustain an annual 1 to 3% increase in the number of new jobs
  • Sustain an annual 2 to 4% growth rate in Gross Regional Product for the National Capital Region
  • Annual rate of growth in median wages will exceed the rate of inflation (The rate of inflation exceeds the growth in wages according to the State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report) 

Changes in Wages and Inflation (Source: BLS 2001-2014)

  • Increase the rate of students graduating from high school to 90%
  • Improve access to vocational training and educational options throughout the region
  • By 2020, the percent of population over 25 with a Bachelor’s degree is 45% or higher, and the percent with a professional or advanced degree is 20% or higher

Accessibility Targets

  • Beginning in 2012, capture 75% of the square footage of new commercial construction and 50% of new households in Regional Activity Centers (According to the State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report the region has not yet met its target of capturing 50 percent of household growth in Activity Centers, but is projected to capture a greater proportion in the coming decades.) 

Percent Household Growth in Activity Centers (Source: COG)

  • Beginning in 2012, the region will maintain more than 450,000 acres of agriculture land in farms
  • By 2020, the housing and transportation costs in Regional Activity Centers will not exceed 45% of area median income (According to the State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report in 2013, the average combined housing and transportation costs in Activity Centers were 36.9%, compared to 42.1% for the region as a whole. For households earning 80% of AMI, average combined housing and transportation costs were 45.6% of income in Activity Centers, and 52% for the region as a whole.)  

Housing and Transportation Costs (Source: Center for Neighborhood Technology and COG)

  • Increase the rate of construction of bike and pedestrian facilities from the Transportation Planning Board’s plan
  • Increase the share of walk, bike, and transit trips
  • All Regional Activity Centers will have transit accessibility (bus or rail)
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita
  • The region’s transportation system will give priority to management, performance, maintenance, and safety of all transportation modes and facilities
  • Transportation investments will link Regional Activity Centers

Livability Targets

  • Reduce the number of violent and property crimes across the region
  • Increase access for area residents to real time crime data and timely emergency alerts through the internet or mobile applications
  • Reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities across the region
  • Human health, including the health of subgroups, is increasingly considered as a component in the development and evaluation of all policies, plans, and projects
  • All residents, including subgroups, enjoy continuous improvement in the quality and duration of their lives

Sustainability Targets

  • By 2025, achieve 100% of Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Implementation Goals
  • By 2050, 50% of all sentinel watersheds will be in good or excellent condition
  • Beginning in 2014, the region’s air quality will be improving and ambient concentrations will be reduced below federal standards
  • The region will identify, conserve, and enhance a network of protected open spaces, parks, and green infrastructure to provide ecological benefits, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty
  • Beginning in 2012, the region will maintain more than 450,000 acres of agriculture land in farms
  • By 2020, reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 2005 levels and by 2050, reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2005 levels
  • By 2020, all new residential and commercial buildings will be built using sustainable design practices equivalent to LEED Silver Standards

Region Forward Indicators

  • The percentage of the region’s restricted affordable rental housing units located in Activity Centers
  • The percentage of the region’s total housing stock affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of area median income (AMI), less than 50 percent of AMI, and less than 30 percent of AMI
  • The percentage of households who are housing cost burdened, defined as paying more than 30 percent of annual income for housing
  • The percentage of residents living below the federal poverty line

Additional indicators can be found in the original vision document.