September 2018

Arlington County's Smart Growth Journey, Rosslyn-Ballston Metro Corridor, Implementing the General Land Use Plan

For over 50 years, Arlington County Virginia’s General Land Use Plan (GLUP), a core element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, has served as the primary guide for Arlington’s Smart Growth Journey.  During this period, Arlington has experienced a remarkable transformation from a suburban, auto-centric collection of neighborhoods to one of this country’s most recognized examples of the benefits of smart growth, sustainability, walkability and transit-oriented development.

As a regional, national and international model of smart growth, Arlington, has demonstrated through the GLUP, and its allied Comprehensive Plan elements, policies, programs and zoning, how the mistakes and impacts of suburban sprawl can be corrected and avoided through a visionary and continuous commitment to innovative planning. As noted by Christopher Leinberger, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution “Arlington is the most important suburban place in the country,” and “If you don’t understand Arlington, you don’t understand the future of the country.” In 2017, Arlington County received the National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation of the GLUP from the American Planning Association (APA).

This program will focus on Arlington’s Smart Growth Journey within the Rosslyn – Ballston Metro Corridor and how Arlington County has successfully implemented the GLUP and supporting policies and plans.  Specifically, the program will address:
  • Historic forty-year planning journey and transformation of the Rosslyn – Ballston Corridor and Arlington County’s commitment to long-term planning for Transit Oriented Development (TOD);
  • Overview of the policy, planning and zoning tools that contributed to successful TOD;
  • How Arlington’s planning commitment expanded beyond the Metro transit corridors; and
  • The challenges and opportunities that Arlington County faces today as the Smart Growth Journey continues.
Date Time Location CM
Wednesday, September 26 10:30 a.m. - 12 noon County Administration Building
4th Floor Boardroom
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
 1.5 (pending)

Speaker(s) / Instructor(s) Biography

Robert J. Duffy, FAICP – Planning Director Arlington County, Virginia Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development

Robert Duffy has served as a planning and community development director and land management administrator with town, city and county agencies in the Midwest, North East, New England and Florida.  He has also served as a planning commissioner at the city and county levels. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Urban Land Institute and Lambda Alpha International. In 2018, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member.

His extensive and award-winning professional experience includes comprehensive, district and neighborhood planning; sustainable growth management; downtown planning and revitalization; transit-oriented development; capital improvement programming; bicycle, pedestrian, and transit planning; historic and cultural resource preservation; open space, farmland and natural resource conservation; and zoning administration.

He is currently a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the Sustainable Urban Planning Program at George Washington University and as an adjunct faculty member with the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Mr. Duffy currently serves as Planning Director with the Planning Division of Arlington County’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.

Read/download an article about the Smart Growth Journey of Arlington County. We are working on obtaining certification maintenance (CM) credits for this session and greatly looking forward to seeing our former supervisor/colleague at

Couldn't attend this session? Watch the video below: