ULI Washington program facilitated cross-fertilization of knowledge across jurisdictional boundaries
On September 14, regional fellows from Fairfax County, Montgomery County, and the City of Alexandria celebrated their graduation from the Regional Fellows Program, an innovative project aimed to spur and enhance regional collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries.
With a population of 6 million people, the Metropolitan Washington Region is uniquely suited to benefit from such a program. The region is composed of 22 individual jurisdictions in two states and the District of Columbia. Although each jurisdiction has its own political leadership, policies, and market realities, the boundaries between them are fluid, with people, goods, and services crisscrossing them daily.
Launched last February, the Regional Fellows Program has a mission to empower public sector leaders in the Metropolitan Washington Region to build and sustain successful 21st Century communities by providing access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient, and sustainable land use practices. The inaugural class consisted of four top decision-makers in the three area jurisdictions who each worked with ULI Washington to scope and study an intractable challenge facing their jurisdiction through a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP).
TAPs are signature ULI programs where, over the course of a two-day interactive experience, a multi-disciplinary panel of public and private-sector land use experts meet with area stakeholders, tour a study area, and formulate recommendations to address a challenge. Each Regional Fellow also served as a member of another jurisdiction’s panel, resulting in a cross-fertilization of knowledge across jurisdictional boundaries.
The TAPs in the Regional Fellows Program probed three diverse but equally important challenges in the Metropolitan Washington Region:
- Broadening the Effectiveness of Community Engagement in Fairfax County, VA
- Positioning the White Oak Science Center Gateway for Success in Montgomery County, MD
- Reinventing Alexandria’s West End in Alexandria, VA
The 12 Regional Fellows who graduated on September 14 include:
- Sharon Bulova, Chair, Board of Supervisors
- Kirk Kincannon, Acting County Executive
- Barbara Byron, Director, Office of Community Revitalization
- Fred Selden, Director, Department of Planning & Zoning
- Isiah Leggett, County Executive
- Greg Ossont, Deputy Director, Department of General Services
- Jewru Bandeh, Regional Director, Montgomery County Eastern Region
- Peter Fosselman, Implementation Coordinator, White Oak Science Gateway
City of Alexandria
- Mark Jinks, City Manager
- Karl Moritz, Planning Director
- Stephanie Landrum, President & CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
- Yon Lambert, Director, Department of Transportation & Environmental Services
A report documenting the recommendations from each TAP will be produced by ULI Washington in the coming months. This report will also highlight common challenges that surfaced throughout the year for all Fellowship jurisdictions. Several key themes – particularly issues related to public engagement, equity, and investment – emerged as trends among each of the three Regional Fellowship panels. The ultimate intent of the Regional Fellows Program is to probe these regional challenges, and through building bridges across jurisdictional boundaries, creatively address them.
ULI Washington’s Regional Fellows Program was modeled after the Daniel Rose Fellowship, a program of the Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, which is jointly operated by ULI and the National League of Cities. The Rose Center is intended to create an open atmosphere of learning, trust, and honest exchange as each team receives guidance on a specific land use challenge and gets the opportunity to offer feedback and advice to peers and build relationships that continue long after the fellowship period concludes later this year.
The Regional Fellows Program was made possible through a generous sponsorship support. Partners in ensuring the success of this program included: The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; McGuire Woods; Chicago Title; The Silverwood Companies; Washington REIT; Lerch, Early & Brewer; The Young Group; and the ULI Foundation.
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