Washington, DC is currently facing the need to elect a new at-large member of the City Council and according to Lydia DePillis at a debate last night all the candidates agreed that it would be desirable to support raising building height limits around the city’s monumental core if Congress would agree.
I don’t think this is going to lead to any kind of short-term policy change, but I do take it as a good sign that the politics of the city are evolving in a healthier direction. The nation’s capital experienced a painful decades-long spell of urban decline, but even though the city still has a lot of problems that trend has clearly turned around. And one enormous strength we have is incredibly demand for downtown office space, where rents are now the highest in the nation. Allowing more of that demand to be met by supply would do a lot to give us the resources we need to further improve things.