Petworth, Columbia Heights, Capitol Hill, Crestwood and Woodley Park make Top 10 List of Greater DC Green Neighborhoods

by Prince Of Petworth April 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm 20 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user ericandkatherine

Nevermind that the list seems a bit arbitrary. Never mind that Ballston is on it. PoPville represent!

From a press release:

As Americans widely embrace the “green revolution”, residents of the greater D.C. area interested in eco-friendly living should check out the newly released Top Green Neighborhood list published by MRIS, the nation’s largest multiple listings service (MLS) which offers nearly 75,000 local homes listings via its consumer website, Homesdatabase.com.

MRIS compiled the list by collecting the most recent MLS data, and surveying local parks and area green initiatives. Based on this hyperlocal data, MRIS notes the following as the top green neighborhoods in the greater D.C. area:

* Ballston (VA)
Ballston is showing clear efforts to educate the public about environmental improvements, through its initiative to reduce emissions, and its innovation in building Virginia’s first LEED platinum house.

* Bethesda (MD)
Bethesda is home to DC’s first Passive Design House. It also has a number of green initiatives to cut greenhouse gas emissions and implement green jobs.

* Capitol Hill (DC)
Capitol Hill is abundant with green homes and buildings and offers close proximity to the city’s largest farmer’s market and famous green spaces and gardens -most notably the Botanical Gardens.

* Crestwood (DC)
Crestwood borders Rock Creek Park, which contains 1,754 acres of green space and nature-related activities. Crestwood also has a neighborhood plan to conserve and preserve their community.

* Columbia Heights(DC)
Columbia Heights is home to DC’s first solar powered condos, as well as DC’s largest residential solar thermal project.

* Mount Rainier (MD)
Mount Rainier has a number of green building initiatives and projects, as well as an abundance of green space including the Mount Rainier Nature and Recreation Center.

* Old Town Alexandria (VA)
Old Town Alexandria is the home to the first LEED certified condo building in the state of Virginia. It also takes part in all of Alexandra’s green initiatives, including the Green Building Policy and the Go Green Alexandria project.

* Petworth (DC)
Petworth is home to DC’s first LEED platinum condo development and it encompasses a number of parks and lush green areas, including Rock Creek Cemetery.

* Takoma Park (MD)
Takoma Park features 17 acres of green space and parks, including Sligo Creek Park. It is also home to a number of green buildings and community projects.

* Woodley Park (DC)
Woodley Park is surrounded by green space and offers a number of public transportation options. Woodley Park is in walking distance to the National Zoo and a number of local parks, including the largest in DC, Rock Creek Park.

  • L’anonyme

    This is wonderful news!

  • ranbo

    Didn’t bother looking up the criteria for this, but the blurbs (and some of the neighborhoods selected) suggest a very superficial concept of a green neighborhood.

    Things like multi-modal transportation planning and density of housing would seem a bit more meaningful than how many LEED condos (probably new construction) and parks a neighborhood has.

    • Anonymous


      • 11th

        +1 this is super, super BSy.

        • 11th

          this is a marketing piece for folks who hype neighborhoods and sell houses. it’s not a real comparative assessment of how homes and living choices impact the environment.

    • Anonymous

      Agree with you on the weak concept here. But for Petworth at least, the LEED condos are in a converted row house. LEED certification rightly takes into account the impact of new construction and awards points for renovating old buildings rather than starting new.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely arbirtray. Ballston is far from the first thing that comes to mind when I think “green” neighborhoods.

    • pagodat

      What’s so terrible about Ballston? It seems at least as densely built and tree-lined as Petworth, and more so than Crestwood (not that Crestwood doesn’t have other charms). Are you guys talking about some Ballston other than the one in Arlington where Wilson Bouelvard hits Glebe Road?

      • pagodat

        More densely built than Crestwood, I mean, not more tree-lined.

      • Former N. Arlington Resident

        – Most residents have cars. The buses are unreliable, it’s a scary place to bike, and the metro takes forever when you live way out there.
        – I don’t recall there being that many trees.
        – Gridlocked traffic everywhere, while the metro station is eerily deserted.
        – The center of the neighborhood is a mall, which brings unnecessary consumerism and more traffic.

        I guess it’s not that bad as far as the suburbs go though.

        • Current N. Arlington resident

          -38b bus is one of the most reliable out there and runs frequently through Arlington-Farragut
          -not sure when you lived here, but every neighborhood street is tree-lined, walk my dog through them every day
          -traffic is bad at rush hour, like most neighborhoods, city and elsewhere
          -the center of the neighborhood IS a mall, which brings diversity to the area. however, right outside it, craft fairs and a farmer’s market are held weekly–community events that most people walk to

          and if you think Arlington is really suburban, man, go west of Fairfax. there, i think, is where the definition really comes to life…

  • Cait B

    Any one have an idea of where “DC’s largest residential solar thermal project” is in Columbia Heights?

    • Michael

      I think it might be the building on the NE corner of 13th and Monroe. They have a large array of some type of solar panels.

  • Eric in Ledroit

    lol. ballston’s making an effort to educate its citizens about environmental matters? really? does ballston have a spokesperson? I didn’t realize it had this sort of agency.

    • Anonymous

      That spokesperson better be able to speak fluent Spanish.

      • The Rickster

        Racist much?

        • Anonymous

          No. Just aware of the fact that a population isn’t going to understand concepts if they’re conveyed to them in an unknown language…

        • commenter

          Racist would be to point out that all the Latinos driving around in failed emissions vehicles probably kill whatever green credibility Ballston might have had had.

  • grumpy

    This is a stupid list that just received greater publicity because it was posted here. annoying.

  • Ballstonian

    I totally agree with you all that this list is rather arbitrary… e.g., a place being “in walking distance to the National Zoo” (Woodley) hardly makes it “Green.” And I know there’s a(n) (irrational) distaste for the city on the other side of the river from wherever you live (I’ve seen it both ways); however, Ballston is more dense and walkable than many of the communities in within the magical (and historically arbitrary) boundaries of DC. The entire Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor won the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in 2002, and has continued to grow in the decade since (see: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/arlington.htm). I’m really surprised by some of the comments on here about Ballston… it’s certainly not perfect and lacks some historical charm, but I’ve found the Metro to be rather reliable (I can get into downtown in less than 15 mins– better than the Red Line folks on… just about any day), and most residents along the R-B Corridor don’t drive. And everyone I know rides their bikes right on the street.

    Not trying to be an antagonist here… your blog is one of the ones I read on an almost daily basis. Frankly, we have wonderful communities here I think it’s important to find out what’s going on all around the Metro area. 🙂


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