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Happy 5th birthday, Greater Greater Washington!

5 years ago today, Greater Greater Washington made its debut.

Photo by AndrewEick on Flickr.

Happy birthday, Greater Greater Washington, and thank you for 5 great years! To celebrate, we will be having a 5th birthday party one month from today, Tuesday, March 5. It'll be from 6-10 pm at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street, NW. Hope you can make it!

On the day we launched, I wrote in an inaugural post for the new blog:

Urban centers and walkable suburbs in America are experiencing a renaissance, including the Washington, DC region. Unfortunately, too many people are forced to leave great neighborhoods to find affordable housing or good schools. If people want to live in single-family homes, they certainly may. But everyone should have the choice to live in an apartment or townhouse in a walkable, safe, livable neighborhood.
People make a city great. Downtown job centers, historic neighborhoods, and new edge cities should all be full of people, walking to do errands, sitting outside at sidewalk cafes, enjoying parks, living life, and interacting with each other. ... As the region grows, we must preserve what already works and expand what is possible, to ensure that there are enough great neighborhoods for everyone who wants to live, work, shop or play in one.

That still seems just as appropriate today as then. A lot has changed, but a lot has not.

After it launched, Greater Greater Washington gradually grew. We got links from a number of local bloggers, and some national ones, like Matt Yglesias and Atrios. The Washington Post's Marc Fisher featured us in a column about my escapade trying to get a cab to a Southwest impound lot.

Other bloggers started volunteering to post articles as well, beginning with Jaime Fearer, then Michael Perkins, and then many more. Many people helped edit, redesign the site, do links each day, and much more. A lively and intelligent community of commenters formed on the site.

We fought some big fights, like to get enough funding to stop Metro service cuts, or save streetcars. We pushed (over years) for open data at Metro. We campaigned successfully for DC's zoning update to lower parking minimums, and years later, that battle has come around to the next phase.

All of this is possible because of all of you: our readers, our commenters, our editors, and our contributors. I wish there were room to thank every person individually. Instead, here are all of the photographs on all of the author bio pages for people who are, or have been, regular contributors. This leaves out many, many people, whose photos we don't have, or who were editors behind the scenes, and everyone who's contributed by commenting or just sharing stories with their friends. Thank you, all.

David Alpert
Ken Archer
Ryan Arnold
Jacques Arsenault
Agnès Artemel
Alex Baca
Marlene Berlin
Andrew Bossi
David C.
Herb Caudill
Cheryl Cort
Alison Crowley
Aimee Custis
Veronica Davis
David Edmondson
Jaime Fearer
Sam Feldman
Eric Fidler
Neil Flanagan
Moira Gillick
Steven Glazerman
Miles Grant
Christine Green
Geoff Hatchard
Bradley Heard
Matt Johnson
Tracey Johnstone
Jenifer Joy Madden
Ksenia Kaladiouk
Joey Katzen
Malcolm Kenton
Julie Lawson
Adam Lewis
Dan Malouff
Topher Mathews
Stephen Miller
John Muller
Dave Murphy
Steve Offutt
Nikki Peele
Michael Perkins
Marion Phillips
Rob Pitingolo
Kurt Raschke
Dan Reed
Ben Ross
Matt Rumsey
Jamie Scott
Roland Stephen
Jake Sticka
Jim Titus
Celine Tobal
Nolan Treadway
David Versel
Mitch Wander
Bryan Weaver
Kevin Webb
Erik Weber
Cavan Wilk
Steven Yates
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Thank you David, to all of the contributors and readers. A lot of great thought provocation and advocacy towards a greater District and Capital Region.

by Andrew on Feb 5, 2013 1:00 pm • linkreport

Happy Birthday GGW. I came to the site after reading an article about you in the City Paper a year or two ago. It's been quite an education. Thanks.

by thump on Feb 5, 2013 1:14 pm • linkreport


by Jasper on Feb 5, 2013 1:25 pm • linkreport

Thank you David and contributors. I love this site and feel like a more fully engaged DC citizen thanks to the informative posts and intelligent discussion. Keep up the great work!

by I. Rex on Feb 5, 2013 1:26 pm • linkreport

Mazel tov, and thank you!

by Gavin on Feb 5, 2013 1:42 pm • linkreport

Congrats, David! It's been a pleasure to be involved.

by Dave Murphy on Feb 5, 2013 1:45 pm • linkreport

Buon compleanno, kids!

by Bossi on Feb 5, 2013 1:55 pm • linkreport

Happy Birthday!

I first discovered GGW when I was trying to find a WMATA map that showed the purple and silver line in place. Fortune (or providence) meant that the first rounds of WMATA fantasy maps had just been posted. I was in awe. I had just started learning about new urbanism and such and here was a community dedicated to it in Washington. Such a great resource that has taught me a lot.

by drumz on Feb 5, 2013 2:01 pm • linkreport

I remember seeing someone seated ahead of me during a class four years ago reading GGW, and that's what turned me on to the site. GGW has become one of the few sites I read on a daily basis, though I doubt I've commented more than three or four times over the years. Thank you to David and everyone else for creating and maintaining such a thoughtful and interesting source of information about the area. Keep up the great work!

by Jeff on Feb 5, 2013 2:34 pm • linkreport

Best blog on the planet! Congrats! Keep it going!

by Jay on Feb 5, 2013 2:54 pm • linkreport

Wow I did not remember that a certain transportation enthusiast was there for the birth of GGW.

by MLD on Feb 5, 2013 3:03 pm • linkreport

Huzzah! Keep at it.

by Citybeautiful21 on Feb 5, 2013 3:50 pm • linkreport

Just a few short months later I arrived in DC, found DCist, then GGW, then whiled away too many hours I should've been working reading up on urbanism.

As a result, I've started my own blog, contributed to GGW, and have a few more projects in the works. GGW - you did a good thing.

by David Edmondson on Feb 5, 2013 3:52 pm • linkreport

Happy Birthday, GGW. Thanks for the conversations!

by Jacques on Feb 5, 2013 5:07 pm • linkreport

This site is such an asset to the area, thanks all.

by Frank on Feb 5, 2013 5:52 pm • linkreport

Sadly this post is consistent with the Editor's lack of self-reflection or aim to make the blog better. Urbanists come in many flavors, but the refusal to even acknowledge the criticism of the Disneyland transit promoted here remains a sad and unnecessary defect.

by Sad Sack on Feb 5, 2013 6:59 pm • linkreport

Happy birthday and thanks to all who contribute to this site. It's the preeminent resources for region-wide coverage of these issues.

by Lindemann on Feb 5, 2013 7:04 pm • linkreport

Happy 5!

by Alan B. on Feb 6, 2013 9:09 am • linkreport

Happy Birthday! Found GGW when I began noticing how poor Metro had gotten, and that quickly blossomed into a transit nerd side of me that I never knew I had. Keep up the good fight (and more WMATA coverage please!).

by MetroDerp on Feb 7, 2013 10:16 am • linkreport

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