Grow up, Not Out: Making Room for Town and Gown in the Nation’s Capital

GW’s location in the heart of Washington, DC is key to its mission and critical to its success. The opportunities and resources surrounding the campus attract outstanding students, faculty, and staff to GW and also help shape some of the University’s most successful academic, research, and clinical programs. By capitalizing on its location, GW delivers an educational experience that is distinctive and rewarding – encouraging students to take advantage of opportunities in international finance, public policy, democratic governance, and many other pursuits that are truly unique to DC.

In early 2005, the University launched a comprehensive community-based planning effort to create a plan for the future of the Foggy Bottom campus in the context of its surrounding neighborhoods. This planning effort resulted in a Grow Up, Not Out development strategy that not only meets the University’s institutional needs, but also responds to concerns raised by members of the community, District agencies, and other interested stakeholders.

The Foggy Bottom Campus Plan represents an innovative approach to campus planning, integrating zoning, planning, and transit oriented development principles. Reflecting the input of a wide range of stakeholders, the Campus Plan presents a vision and framework that will result in shared and lasting benefits for the community, the District, and the University.

New and modernized facilities responsive to evolving academic and technological needs – for example, a state-of-the-art Science Center, modern classrooms with integrated technology, and cutting-edge research laboratories – are essential to maintain GW’s status as a world-class university, enhance its unique interdisciplinary programs, and continue to attract top-tier students and faculty. New residence halls that update the University’s housing stock and offer unit configurations responsive to student demand will encourage more students to live on campus and enhance GW’s undergraduate living and learning environment.

A fundamental principle guiding the Foggy Bottom Campus Plan is the goal of accommodating GW’s forecasted academic and housing space needs within the existing Campus Plan boundaries. GW’s Grow Up, Not Out development strategy achieves this by increasing density in targeted locations, concentrated in the core of campus and away from existing residential areas. By focusing development at these key locations, campus open spaces and internal pathways are retained and enhanced, buildings of historic and architectural significance are preserved, and the Foggy Bottom campus maintains its diverse scale and unique character.