Poplar Point 2030

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Poplar Point 2030

Location Washington, District of Columbia

In early 2008, Cooper Carry participated in an innovative design competition for Clark Realty, the developer chosen by the District of Columbia to revitalize Poplar Point, a swath of land south of the Potomac River with direct sight lines to the U.S. Capitol and other great monuments of the city. An existing yet flailing park will be recreated as a world-class gathering place for residents and visitors alike.

The park land addresses the river conscientiously in a series of triangular-shaped pieces, creating a Frederick Douglass Pavilion and Memorial Gardens to draw neighbors in. The entire vision is based on the 3E’s For Sustainable Development: Education, Economy, and Environment. The heart of the 3E’s revolves around this park, and the park’s triangles are laid out to be working wetlands, cleansing the water for the site. The park contains all three aspects: Economic benefit as a world-class gathering space, education from the museums and sustainable water treatment through the park design. Similar to Chicago’s popular Millennium Park, the area can become a regional and international draw while serving the community.

The mixed-use, sustainable development addresses many of the inherent issues of the 150-acre site, which are exacerbated by a sewage-filled Potomac River and an interstate that slices through its core, cutting off the neighborhood of Anacostia from the river and existing park. Plans call for re-routing the highway above parking, capping the highway to create connections, mixing development uses, creating the world-class park system, and including a new stadium and event district with pedestrian connections throughout. The design competition proposed a soccer stadium on the river adjacent to the retail district with a new pedestrian bridge spanning the Anacostia River. This iconic bridge would provide a pedestrian connection between the new Washington Nationals stadium north of the river and the proposed soccer stadium at Poplar Point.

Aspirational Work