New York, Paris, Rome, and... Washington?
Some more ideas to kick DC's butt in gear:
11. Have architecture graduate students from across the country redesign every street vendor van in the city using recycled materials. Allow only three to sell Georgetown University sweatshirts. Then have the students go to work re-facing K Street.
12. Create (or appropriate) an indigenous, unhealthy, and therefore highly admired and much-in-demand food item. Allow only two establishments to serve it. Invent a long-standing conflict between the proprietors.
13. Plan a major world's fair for Anacostia waterfront, not for the crowds, but for the buildings that it will leave behind.
14. Turn DC’s current characteristics and icons (bureaucratic red tape, political sex scandals, hot and humid summers, The Exorcist) into marketing opportunities along the lines of Las Vegas's "What Happens Here Stays Here" campaign. Use humor if possible. If not, import it.
15. Re-imagine the Washington Coliseum as a semi open air farmer's market.