The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.

Posts by Aimee Custis

Aimee Custis is a wonk, communicator, and professional advocate at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Her writing represents her own views, though they're often aligned with her employer's. Weekends, you'll find Aimee at home in Dupont Circle or practicing her other love, wedding photography

Photography


Metro in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Union Station. Photo by Jordan Barab.


42 bus, Dupont Circle. Photo by nevermindtheend.


Gallery Place-Chinatown. Photo by SounderBruce.


Photo by SounderBruce.


Photo by J P.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Photography


Hot as ____ in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Lake Anne Plaza, Reston. Photo by Daniel Kelly.


Lake Anne Plaza, Reston. Photo by Daniel Kelly.


Photo by nevermindtheend.


Tango at Freedom Plaza. Photo by Victoria Pickering.


LeDroit Park. Photo by Daniel Kelly.


S Street NW. Photo by Joe Flood.


15th Street protected bikeway at P Street. Photo by Joe Flood.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Nine provocative reads on race, equity, and urbanism

Race and equity have a fundamental impact on life in urban places. Even when they're big, hairy, and uncomfortable, these issues are worth discussing and writing about.

With that in mind, here are nine provocative articles for urbanists (or anyone!) on the intersections of race, equity, policy, and life in urban places.


Photo by Julian Ortiz on Flickr.

Everything on this list is an article (not a book), so the time commitment is relatively short.

In putting together this list, several people told me they disagreed with one of the articles, or that an article made them feel uncomfortable or challenged their long-held assumptions. Including each was intentional on my part, though the viewpoints in the articles don't always represent my own, or those of Greater Greater Washington.

1. The Case for Reparations
Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
One of the longer reads on this list, The Case for Reparations is a look at the history of discriminatory housing policies and exploitative markets in America. Despite the title, reparations aren't totally the point. Instead, Coates uses reparations to show that if we truly confronted the history and realities of racism in the US, it would mean a really big shift in how we live and act today.

If you read only one article on this list, make it The Case for Reparations.

2. Death in Black and White
Michael Eric Dyson - The New York Times
An essay on the dynamics of white privilege and the white viewpoint in the context of modern America published following the shooting deaths of Alton B. Sterling and Philando Castile.

3. Historian Says Don't 'Sanitize' How Our Government Created Ghettos
NPR Fresh Air (audio option)
An interview with Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute on the history of residential segregation as explicit and racially-purposeful policy legislated into existence at all levels of government in the US.

4. How your parents affect your chances of buying a home
Emily Badger - Washington Post Wonkblog
A super-easy read by the prolific Emily Badger, formerly of CityLab and now at the Washington Post. Until I was compiling this list, I didn't realize how extensively Badger has written on these issues - chances are, you've probably missed this or another good read from her.

5. I, Racist
John Metta - Those People
A discussion and context on the pervasiveness structural racism in modern America, from urban policies to social systems to culture and beyond that challenges some of our ingrained unconscious beliefs head-on.

6. Why you should stop saying "all lives matter," explained in 9 different ways
German Lopez - Vox
Tools for understanding (or explaining) the conflict between #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter.

7. America's Insidious Eviction Problem
Gillian B. White - The Atlantic
An on-the-ground look at how the practice of removing tenants from their homes is exacerbating cycles of poverty, especially among minorities and women.

8. Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter are not mutually exclusive
Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) - The Hill
A brief explanation of the decades of urban policies and funding that have bolstered militarized civilian policing, and how we got to where we are today.

9. The Role of Highways in American Poverty
Alana Semuels - The Atlantic
A history of the use of federal funds to build highways through most American cities, exploring specifically the economic effects that highways had and continue to have on our cities, especially in relation to people of color.

If you have a topic or article suggestion for a future GGWash reading list, email the author. If you have a suggestion on GGWash's growing conversation on equity, race, and class, email GGWash.

Photography


Arlington in the Flickr pool archives

We went digging through the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool archives, and have chosen some of our favorite images from the past six years from Arlington. Which one do you like best?


Memorial Bridge, August 2010. Photo by Brian Allen.


Crystal City Wynwood mural, September 2014. Photo by Elvert Barnes.


Long Bridge Park, June 2013. Photo by Payton Chung.


Crystal City, March 2011. Photo by Chris Reed.


Clarendon, August 2010. Photo by Adam Fagen.


W&OD Trail, this week. Photo by Erinn Shirley.

Have a photo that depicts the best or worst of Arlington, or anywhere else in the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Transit


Find out your personal Metro on-time stats with this tool

When you look at Metro's on-time statistics, do you feel like they don't match up with your own experience? Today, you can look at the hard data with the new "MyTripTime" tool.


Screenshot of the author's three-month travel summary.

MyTripTime on-time scores are calculated by comparing actual travel times—when customers tap in and out with a registered SmarTrip card—to the amount of time that trip should take when service is running normally.

To access your personal data, you must have a registered SmarTrip card.

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Click the relevant card (you probably only have one)
  3. There is a box on the right that says "manage your account"
  4. Click "My Trip Time Dashboard" that also has a "New!" flair and it should pop up.
If you have a SmarTrip card, you can see your travel time summary even your card isn't registered. You just need to create a new account on smartrip.wmata.com and link it to your card.

Our contributors' performances have ranged from 58% to 91%. What's yours?

Photography


Heat wave in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Woodridge Elementary, Vista and Central Avenues NE DC. Photo by James Crane.


Union Station. Photo by Jordan Barab.


Herzog's Restaurant (c. 1938), Old Fish Market, SW Waterfront. Photo by StreetsofWashington.


Photo by Ted Eytan.


Bladensburg & Montana Avenue NE. Photo by James Crane.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

History


This video compares LA's streets of 70 years ago to today's

How does a street change in 70 years? In some ways a lot, and in others, not at all, as this video of Los Angeles from the New Yorker shows.

Beyond the increased build-out along the streets, in some places the older streets seem more welcoming to people walking; in others today's streets seem friendlier. While this video is of LA, one can imagine a similar then-and-now for DC.

Would you be willing to create something like this, but for DC? For example, you could grab a Go-Pro and follow the route of the 82 streetcar today.

What else do you notice about the video? Tell us in the comments.

Photography


Vibrant in the Flickr pool


Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Pennsylvania Avenue. Photo by Jarrett Hendrix.


Four Mile Run, Arlington. Photo by Erinn Shirley.


Photo by Jamelle Bouie.


Union Station. Photo by Jordan Barab.


Photo by philliefan99.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Public Safety


Today

In the last 72 hours, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Minneapolis a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, and then a sniper killed five police officers in Dallas. These tragic deaths, on the heels of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last month, have left us reeling.


This space left blank.

At its core, Greater Greater Washington is about creating more livable communities and cities. Normally, we do this by discussing transportation, housing, development, public spaces, and other elements that make our cities better places to live.

Today, though we wanted to take a moment to pause and acknowledge that a basic prerequisite before we can even begin to talk about "livable cities" is to preserve human lives, and our society did not succeed for the victims of these events.

We invite you to take a moment, too. We don't want violence like this to go unmarked in our personal lives or in the communities we want to help make better.

Photography


Long weekend in the Flickr pool

Here are some of our favorite summertime images from the past few years in the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, to get you in the spirit of the holiday weekend. Happy Fourth of July!


2014. Photo by Ted Eytan.


Gravelly Point, 2011. Photo by Erin.


Ocean City, 2011. Photo by Jennifer.


White House Farmer's Market, 2012. Photo by Erin.


Vida U Street rooftop, 2012. Photo by Ted Eytan.


Nationals Park, last week. Photo by Rudi Riet.


Farragut Square, 2010. Photo by Erin.


Skate Fest Fairfax, 2016. Photo by John Sonderman.


14th St NW, 2014. Photo by Tim Brown.


Jack's Boathouse (Georgetown), 2011. Photo by JY O'Reilly.


Capitol Grounds, 2013. Photo by Ian Livingston.


Rock Hall, MD, 2014. Photo by Caroline Angelo.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

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