Overview of AWI
The 30-year Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) is transforming the shores of the Anacostia River into a world-class waterfront. Led by the District of Columbia government and embraced by 19 regional and federal agency partners, the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative area straddles the Anacostia River and weaves through District Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8, stretching from the Tidal Basin to the District’s northeast border with Maryland.
Initiated in 2000, AWI promises a clean river environment, new parks and other recreational facilities, more job-creating commercial centers, revitalized residential neighborhoods and multi-modal transportation options.
A host of District Department of Transportation (DDOT) infrastructure projects chronicled on this website will serve as the spine upon which this renaissance takes hold and thrives. By providing better mobility – for walkers, cyclists, transit riders and drivers – these projects will reconnect communities on both sides to the river and to each other.
In 2003, the Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan (AWI Plan) put forth a visionary and ambitious agenda for the revitalization of the Anacostia waterfront as a world-class destination and the center of 21st century Washington, DC. The AWI Plan set in motion the implementation of a comprehensive blueprint for transformation including new mixed-income neighborhoods, environmental restoration, transportation infrastructure, enhanced public access, new connected parks, and cultural destinations. This website is dedicated in particular to implementation of the transportation vision of the AWI Plan which is further detailed in the AWI Transportation Master Plan. For further information about the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative more generally, please see the DC Office of Planning webpage.
Key Elements of AWI
Guided by the Anacostia Waterfront Transportation Master Plan, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is re-creating its transportation infrastructure network to promote safe, efficient, multi-modal travel throughout the Anacostia Waterfront area. At the same time, each transportation project is designed to incorporate ways to help improve the environment, foster economic development, better serve residential areas, increase access to recreational sites and reconnect communities on both sides to the river and one another.
A critical part of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) is transforming the Anacostia River from one of the most polluted rivers in the nation into a model destination for environmental education, sustainability and recreational fun. Restoring the river also includes a number of various initiatives led by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to reduce developmental impacts while improving the overall watershed.
A revitalized Anacostia Waterfront requires substantial financial investment to create sustained economic development to continue to build and maintain its vibrancy. With the start and completion of each new project or development come additional prospects for new jobs, businesses and economic opportunity. The Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) leads the District’s effort to successfully manage such opportunities and generate new ones.
More than 50,000 District residents live within a 10-minute walk from the Anacostia River, yet few identify themselves as living in a waterfront community. The District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP) is leading the District’s efforts to revitalize and reconnect existing communities to the river in more sustainable ways. At the same time, DMPED is working to partner with numerous private entities to create new neighborhood projects.
Through AWI, the District is creating a “RiverPark” system of interconnecting waterfront parks that will ultimately be linked by the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. As of 2010, more than $100 million had been invested in the designing and constructing the RiverPark system. At the same time, Nationals Park, RFK Stadium, the DC Armory, Langston Golf Course, Arena Stage, Yards Park and various portions of the Southwest Waterfront, among others, offer additional recreational opportunities.