Bridging equity? Washington, D.C.’s new elevated park as a test case for just planning

Nufar Avni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the last decade, justice has been revived as a primary criterion for the analysis and evaluation of planning policies. This paper continues this line of research by examining a proposed redevelopment project in Washington, D.C. that sets equitable development as its goal. The proposed 11th Street Bridge Park would be a top-notch elevated park, physically and symbolically connecting D.C’s wealthy west with the disadvantaged east. The project is managed by a nonprofit organization and seemingly stands out in its progressive vision: An Equitable Development Plan has been developed in an attempt to secure the future of the local residents in light of the neighborhood's anticipated gentrification. However, preliminary findings show that despite explicit commitment to equity, the planning of the park also resurfaces racial and class tensions. The analysis of procedural and substantive aspects of justice in this case suggests that issues of recognition, power and representation are instrumental to fully understand urban (in)justices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)488-505
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - 21 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • 11 Street Bridge Park
  • D.C
  • Washington
  • equity planning
  • justice
  • redevelopment


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