DC Vibrant Retail Streets Initiative & CHASE Action Agenda
The DC Office of Planning released the DC Vibrant Retail Streets Toolkit in 2012, an innovative approach towards retail analysis and practice that establishes a framework for retail streets to truly thrive. Developed with OP’s consultant, Streetsense, the Toolkit allows neighborhoods to assess their starting point on an eight-step ‘retail vibrancy scale’ and offers solutions for helping retail areas progress on the scale and achieve more vibrancy. Following its release, OP received a grant that allows it to apply the Toolkit to two neighborhoods in Ward 8 (Congress Heights and Anacostia). This application has entailed a technical assistance workshop in each node that targeted business support, economic development, and service provider organizations, coupled with follow-up technical assistance for these project teams and implementation support for strategic action items.
The application of the Vibrant Retail Toolkit in Ward 8 falls under the umbrella of the ‘CHASE’ Action Agenda, which seeks to ensure that residents benefit from the growth and development expected in Anacostia, Congress Heights and Saint Elizabeths. Additionally, the retail vision, developed by the CHASE Advisory Committee, aims at a complete set of quality neighborhood retail options that serve residents, create jobs, attract visitors, and provide support to small local businesses.
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