Public Space


Public Space

About Public Space

The DowntownDC BID’s Public Space department utilizes innovative technology, city and private partnerships and Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance ambassadors to both catalog and augment public space in DowntownDC in an effort to maintain quality assurance for the BID’s public space. In addition, the BID maintains relationships with local and federal safety agencies to support and contribute to ongoing public safety efforts.

Quality Assurance

The Public Space department liaises directly with the BID’s property managers and owners to answer questions, address concerns and assist its membership in maintaining public space and reducing disorder. The BID regularly holds property manager meetings to facilitate networking and information sharing for its stakeholders.

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Quality Assurance Initiatives
  • The establishment of a Field Asset Management (FAM) Team comprised of Safety/Hospitality ambassadors trained to monitor and report conditions such as loose sidewalk pavers, graffiti, defective streetlights and more in public space. Some of these defects are fixed internally by ambassadors while others are submitted to the appropriate city agencies or utilities for resolution.
  • The maintenance of a Public Space Conditions Database. An online public space conditions database and mobile field app utilized by ambassadors integrates geographic information system (GIS) capabilities, reporting tools, and an open DC 311 system to allow users to instantly report problems about permanent, fixed assets as well as variable problems including vandalism and abandoned bicycles.
  • Participation in a Public Space Working Group which includes a number of local and national government agencies and utilities—including the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Department of Public Works (DPW), the DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA), Washington Gas and Pepco. The group receives weekly updates about public space information from the BID and allows the BID to address property managers’ questions and concerns.
Streetscape Guidelines

In the late 90s, the BID initiated a process to develop new streetscape standards for the DowntownDC BID area. Out of this process emerged standards that became the design guidelines for the city in the early 200s. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has fully adopted the DowntownDC BID Streetscape Standards which are now a part of all Downtown street reconstruction and resurfacing contracts. The guidelines dictate standards for tree planting, waste receptacles, accessibility regulations, design and more.

Property Manager and Public Safety Alliance

The DowntownDC BID maintains integral public safety partnership with local and federal law enforcement agencies to serve as a communications and information hub for DowntownDC stakeholders. The BID hosts monthly Public Safety Alliance Council meetings which brings together members of the Metropolitan Police Department, DC Fire & EMS, U.S. Park Police, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Metro Transit Police Department and other entities together with property managers and security staff in DowntownDC. Contact Susan Hampton to request more information about Property Management and Safety Alliance meetings.

Emergency Preparedness

The DowntownDC BID has partnered with several organizations to provide free trainings for DowntownDC property managers, staff, safety and security personnel, tenants, and residents as part of an ongoing commitment to expand emergency preparedness efforts.


The DowntownDC BID supports individuals experiencing homelessness in our area with on-the-street support services and the Downtown Day Services Center. For immediate concerns related to an individual experiencing homelessness or if you need immediate assistance, contact BID Dispatch at 202-624-1550.