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Comprehensive Plan

Visit the project website (PLANDC.DC.GOV) to learn more.

What is the Comprehensive Plan?

The District of Columbia’s Comprehensive Plan is a 20-year framework that guides future growth and development. Originally adopted in 2006, it was first amended in 2011. In 2020, Chapter 2, the Framework Element, was further amended. The Comprehensive Plan addresses a wide range of topics that affect how we experience the city. These topics include land use, economic development, housing, environmental protection, historic preservation, transportation, and more. The DC Off­ice of Planning has launched an eff­ort to amend the Comprehensive Plan a second time to ensure that it remains responsive to the needs of the community.

Comprehensive Plan and Supporting Documents

Why is it Important?

Having a visionary and up-to-date Comprehensive Plan is critical to the long-term success of the District. It is the guiding document that District agencies, residents, employers, developers and other stakeholders use to ensure that Washington, DC evolves in line with our collective vision for “Planning an Inclusive City.” Further, the Comprehensive Plan:

  • Shapes the places we live, work, shop and play.
  • Guides the public services, infrastructure, and capital investments that make the District so desirable.
  • Guides the use, density, and design of buildings within the District, directly shaping the city’s physical form as it changes and develops in the future. 

Planning an Inclusive City

Planning an Inclusive City” is the guiding vision for the DC Comprehensive Plan. An inclusive city is one where every member of the community feels welcome wherever they are in the city, and where everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to live a healthy, successful and fulfilling life. In an inclusive city, residents are able to make choices about where they live, how they earn a living, and how they get around–regardless of whether they have lived here for generations or moved here last week, and regardless of their race, income, or age. Realizing this vision requires an ongoing community conversation and a Comprehensive Plan that reflects the values of the District.

Why Amend the Comprehensive Plan Now?

The DC Off­ice of Planning is committed to ensuring that the Comprehensive Plan reflects the changing conditions and community priorities throughout Washington, DC. This will allow the District to continue planning for the future with confidence, accuracy, and sensitivity to the needs of the community. Since 2006, the District has experienced significant population growth, including 70,000 new residents since 2010. While the 2006 Comprehensive Plan anticipated this growth, it has occurred at a much faster pace than expected. This Amendment process will also address new challenges and include policies to promote resilience to natural and human-made disasters, such as flooding, extreme weather, terrorism, and other acute shocks and chronic stressors.

Your Input is Needed!

Your ideas, insights and suggestions are essential to a successful Amendment process. You can help determine how the Comprehensive Plan should address the city’s current and future needs and improve the quality of life for all. Given the Comprehensive Plan’s role in the future of the District, there is a need for conversations about the changes happening in the city and what is anticipated and desired in the future. Your input will be used to ensure that the Comprehensive Plan remains visionary and responsive to the needs of the community in Washington, DC.

How Can You Get Involved?

For more information on the Comprehensive Plan and to engage in the process to help shape the future of the District please contact [email protected]