Reston is a community in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area located in western Fairfax County, Virginia. Conceived as an alternative to ailing cities and sprawling suburbs, Reston, along with Columbia, Maryland, was among the first post–World War II “new towns” in the United States. Founded in 1964 by Robert E. Simon Jr., Reston took its name from Simon’s initials and represented a kind of urban utopia—a place with swimming pools, community centers, and tennis courts in every neighborhood and no restrictions based on race. Control of the project was taken over first by Gulf Oil—Simon’s major lender—and then Mobil, but the community grew steadily. Its 2007 population was approximately 60,000; the town, meanwhile, enjoys a strong economy based on high technology and information.