(Washington, DC) Harriet Tregoning, acting director of the DC Office of Planning told members of the DC Council during her confirmation hearing February 22 that she intends to work with residents, businesses and civic organization to make the District of Columbia a more globally competitive and sustainable city.
"While I am brand new in this position, I have great ambitions to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors through leadership in planning and through partnerships with the citizens and the civic and business community of the city, “ Tregoning, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s nominee, said during her testimony. “I hope to help DC citizens achieve a quality of life enriched by choices in housing and transportation, efficient use of public infrastructure, distinctive community character and a robust civic life.”
Tregoning says she will focus on achieving:
- More liveable, mixed-used neighborhoods with improved transportation choices, housing and retail opportunities that will accommodate all residents, regardless of income, age or family status
- Robust citizen participation that identifies and preserves distinctive community character and contributes to a shared civic life
- Higher quality environmental and recreational amenities
- Increased public investment in neighborhood connectivity, infrastructure and community amenities
During her testimony, Tregoning highlighted a number of the Office of Planning’s major accomplishments including its cornerstone achievement, a newly adopted 20-year comprehensive plan. The DC Council adopted the document in December 2006, which Tregoning says will serve as a blueprint – not a wish list – for the District to grow into a more inclusive, sustainable and economically-competitive 21st century city.
The comprehensive plan, still awaiting federal approval, is the product of a community-driven process, which involved several thousand citizens, more than 150 community meetings and briefings and more than 1,500 pages of comments, responses and hearing testimony. A specially created website for the plan received more than 2 million hits.
Last year, the Office of Planning also worked with members of the DC Council, environmentalists and members of the real estate industry to create a landmark Green Building laws that have become a national model and produced an inclusionary zoning program that awards developers increased density for producing affordable housing.
Tregoning’s confirmation is still pending DC Council approval. A 15-year resident of the District, she is regarded as a national leader and innovator for smart growth policies. Prior to joining the Office of Planning, Tregoning was director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design and co-founder, with former Maryland Governor Paris Glendening, of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, a national, nonpartisan advisory organization that helps state governments guide growth and development.
Tregoning served as Glendening’s planning secretary, before he appointed her Secretary of Smart Growth in 2001, a cabinet-level post where she oversaw state initiatives to revitalize urban neighborhood, increase transit-oriented development, promote walkable communities and persevere historic buildings and open spaces. She has led a number of smart growth initiatives for the federal Environmental Protection Agency.