Posts in category education
But you won't hate going out in the storm for any of this week's events!
Delightful discussion on DC education: Our friends at Greater Greater Education are hosting a forum with Councilmember David Catania tonight, Monday December 9, to discuss all things pertinent to public education in DC.
Come by the Hill Center, located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, tonight at 6:30pm to ask a question or to listen to a good discussion. You can register here. Head over to GGE for more information about this event.
After the jump: Streetsblog hosts a happy hour, Maryland's candidates for governor talk about transportation, and see a film about how to design cities for people.
We've many places to go!: Purple Line NOW! is hosting a transportation forum with Maryland's gubernatorial candidates. All three Democratic nominees, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, Delegate Heather Mizeur, and Delegate Jolene Ivey speaking on behalf of Attorney General Doug Gansler, will attend, as well as Republican candidate Delegate Ron George.
The forum is tomorrow, Tuesday, December 10, from 7 to 9:30pm at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, located at 7995 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. Reserve your seat(s) here.
All the way home you'll be warm: Join Streetsblog DC readers tonight, December 9, for a happy hour at the Passenger, DC's transportation-themed bar. The happy hour starts at 5:30 at 1021 7th Street NW. You can RSVP here.
As long as you love transportation so: Also tonight, DC's Transportation Plan Advisory Committee (TPAC) meets from 6 to 8pm. TPAC is comprised of DC residents who advise moveDC, the District Department of Transportation's effort to plan the city's future transportation network.
This public meeting is at the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, located at 2000 14th Street NW, in the second floor public meeting room. Please bring your state-issued ID to enter the building.
The lights are turned way down low: On Thursday, the Inter-American Development Bank hosts a screening of the film "The Human Scale - Bringing Cities to Life," about Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl. Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion with Jeff Risom, partner at Gehl Architects in Copenhagen. who will talk about designing cities for people.
The screening is on December 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the bank's Enrique Iglesias Auditorium, located at 1330 New York Avenue NW. For more info, check out the event description.
Save up to splurge on holiday shopping with this upcoming plethora of free events around the region.
Panel and party for local producers: Join Smart Growth America, Think Local First DC, and Elevation DC for Production in the City, an event celebrating local manufacturers in DC. Get a local perspective on production during a panel discussion and shop the pop-up marketplace with over 20 local producers, including Gordy's Pickle Jar, Cherry Blossom Creative, and Capital City Mumbo Sauce.
This free event happens this Thursday, December 5 from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Yards Boilermaker Shops, located at 300 Tingey Street SE, and you can register to attend here.
After the jump: Reserve your space now to discuss all things nerdy with the Lobby Project, add two more exciting urban events to your docket for this Thursday, and remember to join the GGW and GGE crew for two upcoming discussions.
Get nerdy in NoMa: This Tuesday's free event from the Lobby Project, "Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Better Cities," appears to already have "sold out." Make sure you register here for the next and equally-as-free event in the series, "Crafting Local Brews and Spirits," happening on Tuesday, December 17. Both events take place from 6 to 8pm at 1200 First Street NW.
Hear new thoughts on New Urbanism: Also on December 5, you have the option of heading to Arlington's RoundAbouts Speaker Series for Victor Dover's talk on New Thoughts on Streets and Cities. A charter member of the Congress for New Urbanism, Dover's projects include the Columbia Pike revitalization plan and code, and Plan El Paso, which the Natural Resource Defense Council has hailed as "America's Best Smart Growth Plan."
Of course, it is free, in the Founders Hall Auditorium at George Mason University's Arlington campus, located at 3301 Fairfax Drive. The event goes from 6:00 to 8:00pm and you can RSVP here.
Meet transportation techies: Are you a techie looking to make innovative contributions in transportation? Join Mobility Lab for their Transportation Techies meetup: CaBi Hack Night. This debut event will highlight tools and apps built using open data from Capital Bikeshare and encourages attendees to share any programs they may have created using CaBi open data.
The event is this Thursday, December 5 from 7 to 10pm at 1501 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1100 in Rosslyn. You can RSVP here.
Greater Greater Events: And don't forget about our two upcoming events involving the GGW and GGE teams.
Warm up for whichever Thursday night activity you choose with David Alpert and a talk on blogging and civic engagement. To join, make your way to Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies Downtown Campus, located at 640 Massachusetts Avenue NW, this Thursday, December 5 from 4:30 to 5:30pm.
Next Monday, December 9, join Greater Greater Education for an Evening with Councilmember David Catania, where we'll discuss public education in the District of Columbia. The event runs from 6:30 to 8pm at the Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital, located at 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. You can register here. Whether or not you can make it, please submit your questions for the panel in the comments box here.
Speak up for bike lanes in Alexandria tonight, and then after Thanksgiving, discuss education with David Catania, talk about civic engagement, and learn something new and nerdy.
Support King Street bike lanes: Come show your support tonight (Monday, November 25) for bike lanes on King Street in Alexandria at November's Public Meeting of the Traffic and Parking Board. The meeting is 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers at Alexandria City Hall (301 King St, 2nd floor).
The Alexandria Spokeswomen, a group making Alexandria more bike-friendly for women, is having a happy hour before the meeting. Join them at 6 pm at Daniel O'Connell's Bar (112 King Street) for some food and drink, and then go testify.
After the jump: hear from and talk with David Catania, Harriet Tregoning, and David Alpert.
Education forum with David Catania: Greater Greater Education is hosting a forum with DC Councilmember and Committee on Education chair David Catania. GGE editors will moderate the discussion, and audience members can pose questions.
Nerds in NoMa: Learn more about your favorite nerdy topics, like transportation, beekeeping, and brewing in a series of free events at The Lobby Project (1200 First Street NE) from 6-8 pm.
The first one features Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning, and Jordan Mittelman from BicycleSPACE on Tuesday, December 3, 6:00 pm. RSVP here. Other talks take place on December 17, January 14, January 28, February 11, and February 18.
Talk about the future: Hear Greater Greater Washington's David Alpert give a talk about "new dimensions of civic dialogue" as part of a series of public talks organized by Georgetown's Urban and Regional Planning program. He will discuss how blogs have raised awareness and attracted more people to civic engagement, as well as how we can engage community members that have traditionally been neglected from this process, especially those in lower-income and minority neighborhoods.
Please come share your thoughts with David on December 5 at 4:30. You can RSVP here.
As always, if you have any events for future roundups, email us at email@example.com!
And please welcome Andrew Watson, one of our new event curators! Erin, the other, will be posting next week. Thanks Andrew and Erin!
Tonight (Thursday) is the next Greater Greater Washington happy hour! Also, mark your calendars for a Greater Greater Education forum with David Catania on the evening of December 9, and a late afternoon talk with me about growing civic engagement on December 5.
We've been rotating happy hours between DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and now it's DC's turn again. This month's happy hour is at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, 639 Indiana Ave. NW from 6-9 pm. It's right across 7th Street from Archives Metro, a short walk from Gallery Place or Federal Triangle, and also on the 30s, 50s, 70s, D, P, and X Metrobus lines. There's a CaBi station nearby at 6th and D.
You won't see me because I'll be spending my time putting a baby to bed, but Dan and the other editors and contributors are lots of fun!
After the jump: Stand up for King Street bike lanes Monday, and talk with David Catania about education on December 9 and me about civic engagement on December 5.
Defend bike lanes in Alexandria: The proposed King Street bike lanes in Alexandria have been coming under some intense and often crazy attacks. You can speak up for the lanes this Monday, November 25 at 7:30.
The Alexandria Spokeswomen, an organization working to make the city more bike-friendly for women, is having a happy hour just before the hearing at Daniel O'Connells Bar, 112 King Street, at 6. Have a few drinks and then head over to actually push for safer cycling infrastructure.
Talk about education with David Catania: Our sister blog Greater Greater Education is hosting DC Councilmember and Committee on Education chair David Catania for a forum on December 9. It's 6:30 pm at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (Eastern Market Metro).
Natalie Wexler and Ken Archer will pose questions to Catania about education, and audience members can too. What would you like us to ask? Post your question suggestions in the comments.
Talk about the future
I'm giving a talk on Thursday, December 5 at 4:30 about "new dimensions of civic dialogue." It's part of a series of public talks by various people in planning organized by Georgetown's new Urban and Regional Planning program.
I'll talk a bit about how blogs (like Greater Greater Washington and others) have drawn more people into the process of civic engagement. However, I also want to spend some time exploring how we can broaden the conversation beyond just the demographic of our core audience. We need to be engaging with communities that have traditionally been neglected in the process, especially lower-income and minority neighborhoods.
The changes many of us push for, like adding housing opportunities and amenities like shops and restaurants, can and should benefit new and long-time residents of those communities as well. But we have to make sure they will, not just say so. We can't just draw supply-and-demand curves and say that more supply will filter and keep housing affordable; we have to craft policies that actually ensure people with lower incomes benefit not just in the vague future but now.
And we have to understand what people want for their own neighborhoods. Greater Greater Washington has always sought to highlight voices from all around the region about what they want for their communities, and I'd like to do more to find these voices from our traditionally underserved communities.
If you're interested in this issue, please come share your thoughts with me on December 5 at 4:30. You can RSVP here. That page says the talk is by Shyam Kannan of Metro, and my talk is on 12/12, but we switched, so I'm on 12/5 and Shyam is 12/12. (And go see Shyam's talk, too!)
The largest generation in American history, Millennials are having a big impact on both national and local housing trends. But does it make sense to build housing specifically for them, as one developer wants to do in Wheaton?
There's been no shortage of writing about Millennials, or the generation of young adults between 20 and 34. On the one hand, they're flocking to places like the DC area for its strong job market and opportunities for urban living. On the other hand, they're often burdened with student loans and strapped for cash.
Nonetheless, developers are responding by building housing designed especially for them. Last month, AvalonBay presented early designs for a new apartment building at Georgia and Blueridge avenues in downtown Wheaton under its "AVA" brand, geared towards young, hip renters who want to live in urban areas.
Developers chase Millennial renters
The 325-unit, four-story building would replace a mostly-vacant 1960's-era office building; if approved, it could open by 2016. AvalonBay originally planned to build a conventional luxury high-rise on the property before the Great Recession.
Like H&M but for apartments, AVA is designed to cut costs while remaining trendy. It's the result of a 2008 renter survey that identified a group of younger renters who want to live in urban areas, even if it means living in a converted sunroom.
Other developers are chasing Millennial renters as well. In White Flint, Foulger-Pratt is working on a mixed-use complex called East Village that will have "smaller, cheaper" living spaces and "authentic" retailers.
Developers can be conservative, but their decision to build apartments for the young and hip in traditionally suburban places like Wheaton or White Flint says they're confident about those area's future. These are already two areas in Montgomery County where where Millennials cluster, and hundreds of apartments are being built in both communities right now. But can Millennials actually afford these units?
More attitude, less rent
AVA buildings are usually in gentrifying neighborhoods next to more established ones, keeping land costs down, and use wood-frame construction instead of more expensive concrete. Inside, the apartments are about 20% smaller than traditional units and swap out pricey fixtures like granite countertops and hardwood floors for laminate and vinyl. There are only basic amenities, like a exercise room and a courtyard.
Instead, AVA makes up for it with low-cost but high-impact design choices: bright colors and corrugated metal accents, a wall in the lobby that displays tweets from the neighborhood, and aggressive, cheeky marketing and signage. I visited AVA H Street out of curiosity in May, and for weeks afterward I got automated emails saying "Don't forget about me . . . Seriously, don't."
Some of these design features are really smart, like a customizable "gear wall" in the closet. But most of them are pretty superficial and will seem really dated in a few years when tenants "age out" of the buildings. At least it'll be cheap to redecorate.
That's a relative steal. But even if two roommates split the apartment, paying $1190 each, they'd both need an annual income of $47,600 to meet affordability guidelines. That's out of reach for many Millennials, and even those who could afford it may not want to spend nearly $1200 a month on half an apartment.
Of course, AVA and other buildings aren't meant to provide housing for all Millennials, but only those who can personally justify the expense. But building new apartments will increase the supply of housing, gradually lowering prices via filtering for older housing in the area.
And that's a good thing for Wheaton or any other neighborhood where AVA arrives. Whether or not they attract and retain Millennial tenants, they'll make the area more affordable for everyone regardless of age.
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