STATEMENT: Greater Washington Partnership’s “Advancing our Region: Preface to a Blueprint for a Better Region” report

October 26, 2017

Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director
703-599-6437 (c)

Aimee Custis, Deputy Director
202-431-7185 (c)

Statement on Greater Washington Partnership’s “Advancing our Region: Preface to a Blueprint for a Better Region” report

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Greater Washington Partnership released the report “Advancing our Region: Preface to a Blueprint for a Better Region.” Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, issued the following statement:

“The Greater Washington Partnership (GWP) report places a welcome emphasis on the critical importance of Metro and transit investments in general, including seeking better downtown to downtown higher speed rail connections. It notes how major corporations are seeking out Metro station locations to ensure transportation options and attractiveness to next generation employers, and the importance of addressing transportation if we are going to retain and attract next-generation employees.”

“We look forward to bringing our coalition of land use, conservation, housing, and transportation advocates to the table with the GWP. With over 20 years of experience on these interconnected issues at the local, regional, and state level, we have a lot to offer.”

“We will recommend from the outset that the GWP include and address the critical role of land use for addressing our transportation challenges. If we keep spreading out and separating homes from work and services, we will keep generating more and more driving and traffic.”

“The massive transportation needs wish lists that have been developed and are cited in the report, fail to address land use. They were generated without evaluating better ways to grow or accounting for the problem of induced travel (induced demand) which fills up new lane capacity in as little as five years. Therefore those wish lists and requested funding can’t be relied upon as a plan that we should implement.”

“The Coalition for Smarter Growth issued its own Blueprint for a Better Region in 2002 and we’ve shown versions of it hundreds of time in the years since. The vision we’ve promoted is one of a network of mixed-use, mixed-income, walkable, and transit-oriented communities linked by a restored and expanded transit network. The Urban Land Institute’s 2005 Reality Check conference and the Council of Government’s (COG) plan have validated this regional transit and transit-oriented development (TOD) vision, which COG adopted in its Region Forward plan. Today, elected officials in nearly every jurisdiction are advancing TOD — although in some cases not nearly fast enough.

Every resident who lives and/or works in a mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented community has the opportunity to drive less, and use other modes — helping the road network in the process. Moreover, people are increasingly attracted to the health and quality of life benefits of walkable places with good transit. And as the GWP report notes, so are corporations. These include Marriott, Hilton, Nestle, Choice Hotels, and Amazon.”

“So this land use approach should be a core part of the regional Blueprint. Again, we commend the Greater Washington Partnership for this initial report and we look forward to helping bring a range of stakeholders to the table with the GWP to shape a more sustainable, equitable, and competitive region.”

About the Coalition for Smarter Growth:
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Its mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies and investments needed to make those communities flourish. Learn more at