Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.

An empty plot of land in Rosslyn has been turned into a temporary public plaza while its owner works to build a skyscraper. Instead of a weedy, fenced-in lot, the plaza is a lively public space.

JBG Companies is planning a million square foot, 2-tower development at the corner of Wilson and North Moore Streets in Arlington. While they work to secure tenants in preparation for construction, they have teamed up with Rosslyn community groups to turn their empty lot into an attractive public space.

The plaza, called CentralSpace, is a good example of how organizations can work together to make small but positive changes to their environment. The effort was a cooperation between JBG, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, Rosslyn Renaissance, and local volunteer groups. It includes a stage, benches, tables and chairs, as well as a rain garden to help reduce runoff.

Cities are dynamic places that are constantly in flux, as new development replaces old and changes are made to the urban form. Well executed and creative temporary urbanism can make the growing pains more pleasant and exciting, and can make our cities better places.

If the people I see enjoying CentralSpace are any indication, it’s been a great success.

Steve Offutt has been working at the confluence of business and environment for almost 20 years, with experience in climate change solutions, green building, business-government partnerships, transportation demand management, and more. He lives in Arlington with his wife and two children and is a cyclist, pedestrian, transit rider and driver.