In the fall of 2021, the BID embarked on a year-long process to inventory and reimagine the 27 acres of parks and open spaces that exist throughout DowntownDC’s 138 blocks. The effort engaged with the U.S. National Park Service, the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and DowntownDC stakeholders to identify challenges and opportunities to improve parks, open spaces, and streetscapes to make the public realm more engaging, adaptable, connected, authentic, and iconic.
In recent years, the Trust for Public Land has ranked the District of Columbia several times as having the best park system in the U.S. for investment, equity, and access. Yet despite the redevelopment of a number of park spaces across the city, DowntownDC’s parks and plazas remain relatively underdeveloped and underutilized — in part because many are historically significant spaces that require additional layers of planning and approvals. Additionally, a number of public spaces are surrounded by busy streets, lack modern amenities, and are misaligned with community needs.
The DowntownDC Parks Master Plan was created to spark interest in developing an intentional, vibrant, and meaningful downtown park system. Based on community engagement and coordination with concurrent planning efforts, the plan offers six system-wide recommendations. The document comes in two parts. Peruse them in the flipbooks below, or download the PDFs through the links further down the page.