The Master Plan creates a transit-oriented district in Southeast Washington DC connecting a revitalized community to the Anacostia River Park system, with a new mixed-use neighborhood built on principles of sustainability and post-pandemic wellness and livability.
Columbian Quarter is a new, mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhood for Southeast Washington DC, connecting established neighborhoods and creating significant housing and employment opportunities linked to the city's Metro system. The development offers the opportunity to create a "15-Minute Neighborhood," an innovative planning model which promotes complete and connected neighborhoods where residents can meet most or all their daily needs within a short walk or bike ride from home. Rooted in these principles and in post-pandemic urban design and planning strategies, the master plan for Columbian Quarter integrates a new model of urban living from the residential unit, to the building, to the neighborhood. Flexible building designs and outdoor public spaces are adapted for remote work, public health, and integrated family and community life, with increased resilience to future environmental and public health stresses. Access to light, air, and connections to nature are prioritized along with outdoor thermal comfort to extend the enjoyment and use of outdoor spaces.
The development will establish citywide connectivity for Washington DC's urban growth with its location at the confluence of regional park and trail networks, providing direct access to 20 miles of unbroken bike trails, parks, and recreational amenities. On site, the master plan is organized by a mobility network which prioritizes alternative modes of transportation and reduced dependence on the private automobile. A dedicated pedestrian and bike promenade creates a new connection, free of vehicular traffic, between the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, the Anacostia Metro, and the Anacostia Park system. Secondary streets and alleys are shared spaces designed to prioritize pedestrians, while maintaining service access. The existing primary traffic spine, Howard Road, utilizes “flex lanes” that adapt to host extended dining and seating outdoors, ride-hailing zones, loading/unloading, or parklets.
Columbian Quarter will become one of the region's most environmentally sustainable and resilient neighborhoods. It combines the inherent natural characteristics of the site with the potential for innovative urban systems, reducing the community's carbon footprint and leveraging mobility technologies to minimize the role of cars in urban spaces. Together, these initiatives advance urban sustainability and provide significant benefits for both individual and community health and wellness.