Crystal City Master Plan Wins 2009 CNU Charter Award

Date Posted: 5/13/2009

Torti Gallas and Partners is pleased to announce that they are the recipient of a 2009 Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism for the Crystal City Master Plan in Arlington County, Virginia. The Crystal City award was given in the category of The Neighborhood, District and Corridor. CNU is the leading organization promoting good urban design and mixed-use neighborhoods as alternatives to sprawl. The Charter Awards recognize the projects which best embody the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism.

Crystal City met an unfortunate time in the history of the City in 2005. With 1960’s suburban office buildings obsolete to current Class A standards, a highway dividing the city in two halves, and the recent Federal Government Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) decisions dictating the immediate removal of over 4,000,000 sf of government office tenants to secure military bases, Arlington County initiated a Master Planning process for Crystal City, with Torti Gallas as lead consultant. Through a public process, several urban concepts were investigated with a week-long Charrette, three different community forums and more than 40 public Task Force meetings.

With input from County Staff and the Crystal City Planning Task Force made up of prominent property owners, office tenants, different County Commissions and residents, Torti Gallas explored a variety of opportunities for new public open spaces, the humanizing of a auto-dominated freeway into a tree-lined boulevard, new development locations, locations for signature buildings, building heights, a Transitway location, program balancing, and phasing strategies. All concept strategies were generated with the express goal of creating a vital, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly 24-hour atmosphere, currently lacking in this location.

Torti Gallas created and published this mixed-use, transit oriented and pedestrian friendly city vision with policies and a form-based code and guidelines over a two year period. In December 2008 this vision was entitled and adopted by the Arlington County Planning Commission and County Board.

Torti Gallas' Columbia Heights Neighborhood project also received a 2009 Charter Award from the CNU.

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Contact Information

Laurie Milligan
Torti Gallas and Partners,Inc.

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