Report: DC-area pandemic recovery shouldn’t be a return to normal

A group of dozens of local leaders has released the beginnings of a plan for the region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic based on the proposition that “back to normal” isn’t good enough.

The Strategic Renewal Task Force said in its report that it wants to place social equity at the center of the way forward to a more prosperous D.C. metro area.

The report said a lack of cooperation among D.C., Maryland and Virginia has held the region back in the areas of inclusion and economic growth.

Among the 53 largest metropolitan areas studied by the Brookings Institution in its Metro Monitor 2020 report, the DMV ranks 25th on economic growth, 36th on measures of prosperity, 40th on measures of inclusion, and 52nd on measures of racial inclusion between 2008 to 2018.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

The report reads, “For a region so blessed with an abundance of assets and capabilities, these rankings and outcomes cry out for significant action.”

To that end, the 51 local leaders from the government, nonprofit, industry and academic sectors have been meeting since May and came out with a list of 12 recommendations so far.

They include a regional economic development strategy emphasizing prosperity based on social equity, and safe-environment pilots aimed at the safe return to work, school and recreation.

The strategy also calls for regional resilience exercises, with the goal of building a stronger future response and shorter bounce-back time to the next major challenge that comes around.

The list also includes a flexible work and recovery agreement for the area, which the report claims would reduce peak congestion on roadways and transit systems to improve public health and quality of life in the region.

This report said implementing these ideas will help to lessen the burden of governments, and demonstrate the power of working together with an expectation that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

You can read the full report here.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up