Parks & Places
Good parks improve the quality of life in a downtown, serving as oases in a densely built environment. They are good for the public health, as they encourage physical activity and draw people out of their cars, offices and homes. They are crucial to the air quality, as their greenery filters pollution and minimizes the urban heat effect, and they play an increasingly important role in stormwater management. With green space at a premium, even a small pocket park can make a neighborhood more livable and enhance property values and rents.
Almost all of the parks in the Downtown BID are owned and cared for by the National Park Service. A few of the parks are large squares, part of the original L’Enfant master plan for the city. These major parks have established designs, long histories, and may contain large landmarks such as statues or fountains. Many of the National Park Service properties in the Downtown BID are smaller triangular parks, which are also part of the L’Enfant plan and help to reinforce the monumental core.