Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Tysons Corner, VA, is a sprawling cluster of shopping malls and office parks at the intersection of four major highways in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County. The regional economic hub contains more than 100,000 jobs but hosts fewer than 20,000 residents. Every day, thousands of commuters flood highways en route to jobs in Tysons Corner and create congestion throughout the area. With forecasts for continued growth in the region, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors launched a multiyear revisioning campaign for Tysons Corner. In 2010, the Board amended Fairfax County’s comprehensive plan to call for high-density, mixed-use development around four new Tysons Corner Metro Rail stations to be created in an extension of Metro Rail’s Silver Line service. The plan’s main long-term goal is to make Tysons Corner home to 200,000 jobs and 100,000 residents by 2050. Toward that aim, the plan also includes adding parks, open space, and trails, and creating local recreation and cultural centers. To help implement the revised comprehensive plan, the Board of Supervisors created a new zoning district with new transportation- design standards and urban design guidelines. A new development review process prioritizes pedestrian circulation, pedestrian perspectives, and the public realm in future site and building designs, transportation plans, and utility plans, with the goal of “an urban street grid, appropriately dimensioned and designed streetscape, and well- located, high-functioning parks and open spaces.”

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.