American Planning Association Designates Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards 2008 Top 10 Great Streets

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American Planning Association Designates Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards 2008 Top 10 Great Streets

The efforts of the community and local officials during the 1960s to get Metro routed through the commercial and business areas of Arlington shows the lasting value such planning and foresighted decisions create for a community

Today, the American Planning Association (APA) announced that Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards have been designated as one of ten Great Streets for 2008 through APA's Great Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value.

APA singled out Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards because of Arlington's successful implementation of Smart Growth measures that have led to residents' above-average uses of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit system (Metro) and reduced reliance on automobiles; mixed-use development along the two streets; increased density; and a reduced carbon footprint.

Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada accepted the award on behalf of Arlington County. "We are truly honored to receive such a prestigious award from the American Planning Association," Tejada said. "Many, many people -- Arlington citizens, planners and leaders -- have contributed significant time and energy to make Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards and the entire Clarendon neighborhood what it is today: one of America's Great Places to live, work and visit."

APA cites vision of Arlington officials, community
"The APA is excited to designate the Wilson and Clarendon corridor one of the country's 2008 great streets," stated APA Executive Director Paul Farmer, FAICP. "The efforts of the community and local officials during the 1960s to get Metro routed through the commercial and business areas of Arlington shows the lasting value such planning and foresighted decisions create for a community," he said.

Clarendon continues to evolve
Clarendon has undergone significant changes since the decision to re-route Metro below Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards in the 1960s. Since 1970, the number of jobs and office space (measured in square footage) in the area has quadrupled. Twenty percent of residents in Arlington don't own a car and 50 percent walk, bike or use public transit to commute to work. In addition to the area's above average use of Metro, the Wilson and Clarendon transportation and commercial corridor has been revitalized as Arlington's original "urban village," with street-level shops, restaurants, nightclubs and, in designated areas, upper-story offices and residences. Bike lanes on the two boulevards connect to nearby Metro stations, and sidewalks continue to be widened to accommodate increasing numbers of pedestrians.

Clarendon continues to evolve, guided by careful planning. The 2006 Clarendon Sector Plan -- a strategy developed by a multi-departmental working group, with community involvement -- envisions the development of 1.1 million square feet of new office space, including "creative class" space, non-traditional offices -- with character or historic charm -- for firms whose culture embraces the offbeat. For more information about the designation, visit http://www.arlingtonvirginiausa.com.

For more information on the Great Places in America Award, visit http://www.planning.org/greatplaces.

Note to reporters: video from the APA announcement event in Clarendon will be available for download at http://arlingtonvirginiausa.com/ftp/ at 11:00 a.m. on October 8.

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