AFIRE Podcast #57: Creating a Better Normal

(Featuring John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Washington, DC)

As cities in the US adapt to a new normal, city leaders, planners, developers, and investors have a new challenge: to define the “new normal” of the built environment. And though it stands unique among American cities, Washington, DC could have answers for our collective urban futures.

On this episode of the AFIRE Podcast, John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for Washington, DC, talks about how the district is not only working to embrace a new normal, but also implementing innovative solutions as a means to create a better normal.

Racial equity and affordable housing are top-of-mind, alongside promoting and preserving density in the city’s business districts and workplaces, including reimagined retail experiences and use of public space. What are the obstacles that DC is facing in particular, and what are lessons other cities can learn from DC’s ideas and experiments?

According to Falcicchio, collaboration between all city stakeholders—including residents, business and restaurant owners, building managers and owners, investors—is the key to the future of US cities.

Listen now on your favorite podcast service (Apple, Google, Spotify) for the full episode.


John Falcicchio serves as the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for Washington, DC. John has also served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since the start of her Administration after volunteering as a campaign advisor and director of Mayor-elect Bowser’s transition. John previously served as a Senior Vice President of DKC, a New York based public relations firm; as a Regional Political Director for the Democratic National Committee during the re-election of President Obama; and as a long-time aide to former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

As Deputy Mayor, John oversees the District’s portfolio of real estate development projects that drive economic development in communities and deliver affordable housing, jobs and amenities to residents. Those projects include the transformative developments at the St Elizabeth’s East Campus, the Parks at Walter Reed and Hill East as well as dozens of other projects across all eight Wards.




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