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Twenty Years of Comprehensive Planning in the District of Columbia





This roundtable dialogue is open to the public and will explore the recent legacy of comprehensive planning and its influence on the proposed revision to the District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan. Emerging out of the period of time under which the District of Columbia was subject to the Congressionally-appointed Control Board, the processes of comprehensive planning have resulted in a remarkable period of revitalization and growth.  All five of the recent city planning directors spanning over two decades will participate in this event.  The dialogue will review the practice of comprehensive planning and will look forward at the way in which the current proposed revision to the Comprehensive Plan positions the District for a new set of challenges over the next twenty years.


For more information on the proposed revision to the Comprehensive Plan, please see the Office of Planning's dedicated website.  Special graditude is extended to the District of Columbia Office of Planning for their partnership in organizing this event.  


20 Years of Comprehensive Planning in the District of Columbia:

The Proposed Comprehensive Plan Update and New Pathways to Equity




9:00 Welcoming Remarks


Uwe S. Brandes, Professor of the Practice and Faculty Director, Urban & Regional Planning Program; Faculty Director, Georgetown Global Cities Initiative

John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, District of Columbia



9:05 Presentation


The Proposed District of Columbia 2020 Comprehensive Plan Update -- Culminating a 4-year process of community engagement in all wards of the District of Columbia and years of inter-agency coordination with neighboring jurisdictions and federal agencies, the Director of Planning will present highlights of the proposed update to the Comprehensive Plan.


Andrew Trueblood, Director, District of Columbia Office of Planning



9:30 Panel Discussion and Audience Questions


Planning for Social Equity in the District of Columbia


Five directors of the DC Office of Planning spanning 20 years come together to discuss urban planning in the District of Columbia and how iterations of the Comprehensive Plan have shaped the city we live in today.


Andrew Altman, Former Director, D.C. Office of Planning; Principal, Fivesquares Development 

Ellen McCarthy, Former Director, DC Office of Planning; Principal, The Urban Partnership; Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown Urban & Regional Planning Program

Harriet Tregoning,Former Director, DC Office of Planning; Director, New Urban Mobility Alliance  

Andrew Trueblood, Director, District of Columbia Office of Planning 

Eric Shaw, Former Director, DC Office of Planning; Director, San Francisco Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development

Moderated by: Don Edwards, CEO, Justice & Sustainability Associates, Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown Urban & Regional Planning Program


10:30 Adjourn


Social media: #20yearsplanningDC




Speaker Bios


Uwe S. Brandes is professor of the practice, faculty director of the Urban & Regional Planning Program, faculty director of the Georgetown Global Cities Initiative and affiliated faculty at the Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Georgetown Law Center.  Brandes is a scholar-practitioner in the field of urban design and sustainable urban development.  As a public official in Washington, D.C., he managed the creation of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI), the award-winning urban partnership to re-imagine and transform the most polluted river in the Chesapeake Bay into a model of socially-inclusive urban development.  He served as senior vice president at the Urban Land Institute where he initiated ULI's climate change program.  He currently serves as chair of the DC Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency and as a global advisor for the USGBC LEED for Cities rating system.  Brandes holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Fulbright Scholarship at the Technical University Dortmund Institute of Spatial Planning, a MIT Paul Sun Fellowship at the Tsinghua University Institute of Urbanism, and A.B. in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College Thayer School.


John Falcicchio is the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the District of Columbia. Mr. Falcicchio has served as Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Chief of Staff since the start of her Administration after volunteering as a campaign advisor and director of Mayor-elect Bowser’s transition. Mr. Falcicchio previously served as a Senior Vice President of DKC, a New York based public relations firm; as a Regional Political Director for the Democratic National Committee during the re-election of President Obama; and as a long-time aide to former Mayor Adrian Fenty.   He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from the Catholic University of America.


Mencer Donahue “Don” Edwards serves on the faculty of the Georgetown Urban & Regional Planning program and is the founder, CEO and a principal of Justice and Sustainability Associates (JSA), a management consulting firm in Washington, DC.  Don is considered one of the most deft facilitator-mediator-negotiators and civic engagement designers working today in the field of land use and development by international, federal, regional, state and local planning, transportation, parks and economic development agencies, corporations, universities, foundations and community-based organizations.  He holds a Master of Public Health from the Yale University School of Medicine.


Andrew Altman is founder and managing principal of Fivesquares Development and serves as Senior Advisor to the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  A visionary, internationally recognized urban planner and developer, Andy began drawing plans of cities by the time he was 10. Andy served as Director of Washington, DC’s Office of Planning where he created and directed the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative which framed Washington’s iconic neighborhoods including the Wharf, and The Ballpark District. Andy was most recently CEO of the Olympic Park Legacy Company in London where he led the transformation of the 500-acre London 2012 Olympic Park – the largest regeneration project in the United Kingdom. At MIT he works on international initiatives and teaches a course on “city building” and also serves on boards in Washington DC, including the Folger Theater, Field School and DCJCC.  Andrew holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT and a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


Ellen McCarthy serves on the faculty of the Georgetown Urban & Regional Planning program and is principal at the Urban Partnership, LLC.  With over 35 years of professional experience focused on the practice of land use zoning, neighborhood planning, and historic preservation, McCarthy is widely recognized for her expertise in reconciling public and private value in urban revitalization. From 1999-2007, she served in the District of Columbia Office of Planning, first as deputy director for Land Use Review and subsequently as director. Under her leadership, the District of Columbia approved its first newly drafted Comprehensive Plan since the establishment of the congressionally appointed Control Board.  In 2009, Partners for Livable Communities bestowed its Entrepreneurial American Leadership Award in a joint award to McCarthy and her husband, faculty member Richard Bradley, for their efforts to revitalize downtown Washington, DC.  She holds a Master of City Planning from Harvard University and a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Maryland.


Harriet Tregoning is the director of NUMO, the New Urban Mobility alliance, a collaborative effort aimed at harnessing tech-based disruptions in urban transportation to make cities more sustainable, livable, healthy and just.  Harriet has served as an advisor to cities, states, foundations, companies and others. She was appointed by President Obama to be Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Community Planning and Development at the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.  She initiated the first ever $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. Her work at HUD included helping states, regions, cities, counties and towns across the U.S. build strong foundations for economic and disaster resilience.  She was the Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning for two Mayors, where she worked to make DC a walkable, bikeable, eminently livable, globally competitive and thriving city. She is the former Secretary of Planning in Maryland.  She is on the board of ioby, a community leadership development program and crowdfunding platform for neighborhood-scale projects, and a leadership advisor to Rails to Trails Conservancy.  She studied Engineering and Public Policy at Washington University and was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. 


Eric Shaw has been recognized for his work establishing strategic initiatives that support inclusive development and resilience in communities throughout the nation. He has held positions in the public and philanthropic sectors in Salt Lake City, Louisiana, Silicon Valley, and Miami.  Eric served as director of the DC Office of Planning from 2015 to 2018, during which the office launched the Comprehensive Plan Amendment process, established the strategy and analysis division, and completed the DC Cultural Plan and DC LGBTQ Historic Context Statement.  He began his career as a DC Capital City Fellow.   He is currently Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for the City and County of San Francisco.  Eric currently serves as chair of the board of the online publication Next City, is a board member of the UCLA Alumni Association and the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council, and serves on the National Trust for Historic Preservation board of advisors. In 2017 and 2018, he was recognized in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List, presented by the Financial Times.  He holds a Master of City Planning from Harvard University.  


Andrew Trueblood has served as the Director of the DC Office of Planning (OP) since November 2018. During this tenure, Andrew has prioritized agency efforts around housing and equity. He shepherded the update of the Comprehensive Plan with a focus on updates around housing, equity, resilience, public facilities and COVID-19 recovery.  Prior to joining OP, Andrew was the Chief of Staff at DC’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). Throughout his time at DMPED, he worked to support real estate and business development, improve the agency’s data and analysis capacity and to create open and accessible data and analysis, especially through the creation of the Economic Intelligence program. Before joining the District Government, Andrew helped start up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and worked at Treasury's Community Development Financial Institution Fund. Prior to federal service, Andrew worked on redevelopment planning and finance for the DC Housing Authority. Andrew holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT and a B.A. from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 



Accommodation requests related to a disability should be sent to globalcities@georgetown.edu by October 20th. A good-faith effort will be made to fulfill requests. A captioned version of this presentation will also be made available by November 3rd at globalcities.georgetown.edu.

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