SACRPH 2019 Tours, Plenaries, and Events

Thursday Tour, October 31, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Arlington in Transformation

This tour examines the innovative planning initiatives undertaken in Arlington County along the Metrorail corridor from Rosslyn to Ballston as well as the communities that coexist with the high density, urban clusters. Some are resilient, such as the Vietnamese community, whose move in the past two decades from the Clarendon neighborhood to the Eden Center area (at the western edge of the county) coincided with gentrification.  Other communities have deep roots in regional history and planning, such as the African Americans living in Nauck. Free blacks developed the neighborhood beginning in the mid-1840s and the long-standing community hosted Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Columbia Pike, an automobile-oriented, east-west thoroughfare with a variety of housing types and businesses, is today celebrated for its diversity. It, too, is a growth corridor and its once affordable housing is under pressure as real estate values rise across the county.

Join us for on-site tours and discussions with local planners, developers, affordable housing advocates, public artists, and community leaders influencing Arlington in Transformation through smart-growth planning and place-making. We will examine the successes, and failures, of planning in Arlington and the risks inherent in pricing out diversity and serving a transient population of foreign nationals, government workers, and military personnel.

The tour is limited to 45 people and will depart from the DoubleTree Hotel. It will conclude in Shirlington for an opening plenary and reception for all conference participants and accompanying persons. 

Tour Facilitators: Robert J. Duffy, FAICP, Planning Director, Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development, and J. Kris Krider, AICP, LEED Green Associate, Planning Supervisor, Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development

Thursday Opening Plenary and Reception, October 31, 5:30 – 8:00 pm, at WETA FM Studio and Production Center, Shirlington (33939 Cambell Street, Arlington, VA)

Immigrant Arlington

Our opening plenary focuses on the history and present challenges facing facing Arlington’s diverse, immigrant-rich communities. The county has substantial populations from Asia (especially Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines), Central America (El Salvador, Mexico, Peru), and Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia). Our panelists will reflect on the role of immigrants in shaping the space and shape of communities such as Chirilagua, Little Saigon, and Columbia Pike.

A reception of beverages and appetizers will follow the opening plenary and last until 8:00 pm.

A shuttle bus will transport conference attendees from the DoubleTree to Shirlington beginning at 5:00 pm.

Plenary – Friday, November 1, 8:30 – 10:00 am

A Planning Revival: A Praxis of Public Engagement

In order to bridge the professional and academic sphere, this plenary presents a proposal to the SACRPH membership:  develop a theory and practice working group within SACRPH to deepen its public engagement.  As a potential example of such engagement, Julian Chambliss has invited James Benderson, the Town Planner of Eatonville, to explain the need for a better understanding of the discriminatory legacies of planning and property in African American heritage communities and to invite SACRPH to participate in conversations with elected officials sponsored by Eatonville at the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities.

Then Chambliss, Benderson, Roberts, and Aidoo will engage in a roundtable discussion around an agenda of public engagement and public scholarship for SACRPH.

Julian Chambliss, Michigan State University; James Benderson, Town Planner, Eatonville, Florida; Andrea Roberts, Texas A&M University; Fallon Samuels Aidoo, University of New Orleans

Friday Mobile Workshop, November 1, 10:15 am – Noon

Preserving Alexandria: Historic Renewal and Redeveloped History

During Panel Session 1, this bus and walking workshop will travel from the DoubleTree Hotel by bus to Old Town Alexandria, where we will examine City Hall/Market Square and the evolution of the working waterfront. The workshop will interrogate the two as case studies in restoration, reuse, and urban renewal in the nation’s third oldest historic district. On-site analysis raises questions of what is – and was – considered historic and of how city planning approaches are measured over time. The walk begins at City Hall and continues east to the waterfront. We then walk from the Torpedo Factory along the shoreline to Windmill Hill Park, before returning to the DoubleTree. Join us on a journey into planning history within a context of historic preservation and a discussion of national trends and local experience in George Washington’s hometown.

Friday Mobile Workshop, November 1, 2:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Crystal City to National Landing

During Panel Session 2, this walking workshop will examine the development of Crystal City in the 1960s and its revitalization in the 2000s. The architectural landscape of Crystal City with its superblocks, concrete, and underground shopping is distinctive to the region and, in some ways, anticipated the contained living and office spaces constructed in the decades that followed. We will visit interiors of buildings in Crystal City and Pentagon City and discuss the place-making initiatives of the postwar period, and today, in the context of transit-oriented Smart Growth, the arrival of Amazon, and the rebranding of the area as National Landing. Participants will meet in the lobby of the DoubleTree Hotel to begin their walk.

Lunch Plenary – Friday, November 1, 12:15 – 2:00 pm

Edge Cities Revisited

In 1991, journalist Joel Garreau published Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, a look at large-scale developments in suburban areas across the U.S., what he calls “information age, 21st-century nodes where the majority of Americans now live, work, play, pray, socialize, shop, grow up and grow old.”  Garreau labeled Tysons Corner, a Fairfax County suburb (and the subject of a SACRPH tour on Sunday) the “quintessential” edge city.  Join us for a presentation and conversation with Garreau as he reflects on his 1991 book and looks to the future of cities

Joel Garreau, The Garreau Group

Friday Tour, November 1, 2:15 – 4:00 pm

The Pentagon

During Panel Session 2, a tour of the Pentagon will be offered. Participants will travel by shuttle to the Pentagon for a guided, official tour lasting one hour. Before arriving on site, participants will be briefed by Alan P. Capps, PhD, George Mason University, on the building history in the context of civil-military relations, bureaucratic politics, and regional planning design.

Conference Reception and Program, Friday, November 1, 6:30 – 9:00 pm, Historic Terminal A, National Airport

Join us in Historic Terminal A, the former main terminal of National Airport and now an event space, for a SACRPH Reception and Program featuring Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor in conversation on her forthcoming book, Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press, October 2019).

A reception will proceed the program, with coffee and dessert to follow.

Shuttle buses will be available from the DoubleTree Hotel, beginning at 6:15 pm, and running regularly until 9:00 pm. (The Airport is also accessible by Metro).

Lunch Plenary – Saturday, November 2, 12:15 – 2:00 pm

Big Tech in the City: Amazon in Arlington and the future of regional economic development

After a nation-wide competition, Amazon announced in November 2018 that it planned to build its HQ2 in New York and Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood.  Amazon subsequently dropped its plans for New York, but is pressing ahead to rebrand Crystal City as “National Landing.”  What does this competition and its aftermath tell us about the power of a global corporation to influence local land use and planning, and of the ways in which large technology companies are shaping 21st century metropolitan geography?  Margaret O’Mara, author of the new book The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America (Penguin Press, July 2019), and Amy Liu, a leading expert and strategic thinker in city and regional economic growth and planning, will discuss how and why Amazon ended up in Arlington, the local and regional dynamics shaping its arrival, and the implications for planners and scholars of the American city.

Margaret O’Mara, Howard & Frances Keller Professor of History, University of Washington; Amy Liu, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program and the Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy, Brookings Institution

Awards Ceremony and Reception, Saturday, November 2, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Join us in the DoubleTree’s Monument View Room for a Reception, the presentation of SACRPH Awards, and the announcement of SACRPH 2021.

Sunday Tour A, November 3, 8:30 am – Noon

Edge City and Planned Suburbia: Tysons Corner and Reston

Just beyond Arlington County lie quintessential examples of post-war commercial and residential development. The Edge City known as Tysons continues its evolution from a 1950s Virginia crossroads to a 21st-century behemoth, with two major shopping malls, numerous corporate headquarters, convention hotels, and – most recently – Metro access. The latter signaled an effort to “urbanize” Tysons through higher density development and new place-making. Roughly 15 minutes down the road, the planned-community of Reston offers a look at mid-1960s planning. Developed by Robert E. Simon, Reston is influenced by Garden City principles, emphasizing preservation of open space, complete community amenities, and a variety of housing types. Our bus and walking tour will take us into the center of these communities to understand their origins and more recent adaptations.

Sunday Tour B, November 3, 9:00 am – Noon

Arlington Urban?

In 1920 Alexandria County became Arlington County, although the city of Alexandria and its former county share common planning goals along the boundaries, whether along Four Mile Run or Fairlington in the past, or Crystal City/National Landing in the present. Arlington lacks an incorporated city center but is home to a series of commercial centers that lend urban benefits to the suburban architectural landscape through generations of planning models and design. In this bus tour we (loosely) retrace the Rosslyn/Nauck streetcar line and travel through time by way of Arlington’s catalogue of 20th-century residential and retail development types; circulation patterns and transit alternatives; green space and urban forests; community gardens and vertical farms; public art and civic areas; and military installations and monuments. Join us in this study of planning history and examination of Arlington’s suburban character and metropolitan presence.


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