Our City Our Spaces | Washington D.C.

Project Status: Published

From the alley to the block, the District’s public spaces are full of potential for community gatherings. Transforming a vacant lot into a pop-up community play space for the day or night can bring neighbors together, strengthen community bonds, and create a sense of place. Our City, Our Spaces! is a materials, tools, and equipment library for neighborhood-led activities. It provides guidance to residents, business improvement districts, non-profit organizations, and city leaders on how to create enliven and improve neighborhoods and open spaces.

With more than 56 materials, equipment, and tools to create daytime and nighttime activities. It also provides inspiration and details on the many public and publicly-accessible private spaces that exist in the District, and the activity types that can happen within them.

With this toolkit, residents and community organizations can host and assist in social, cultural, and physical improvement activities in their neighborhoods. The document also contains recommendations for developing a physical library of available materials, tools, and to move this guidance from the page to the pavement!

Our City, Our Spaces! | Washington, D.C.

Type: Public Involvement Project

Scale: District-wide

Status: Complete

Street Plans worked closely with the District of Columbia Office of Planning to create ‘Our City, Our Spaces! A Materials, Tools, and Equipment Library for Neighborhood-Led Activities in Washington, D.C.’, a project funded by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The document guides Washington, D.C. residents through the creation of social events in their neighborhoods by providing detailed information on a variety of public spaces within the District, and offering examples of events that could happen within each space. 

The Street Plans team interviewed 8 types of community groups in the District;  content creators, content regulators, and content consumers. Many interviewees expressed issues with accessing materials for small or large-scale events. The document hopes to aid community groups by providing materials, tools, and equipment library; a comprehensive list of material types required for a variety of events, as well as information on where to purchase or rent such materials. 

Street Plans is recommending the District create a strategy for distributing materials and equipment that support neighborhood-led activities in public spaces. The establishment of a physical materials and equipment library would provide a place for neighbors to borrow equipment, and aid in the ease of implementation. Moving forward, we hope to see the District’s first physical materials and equipment library developed so neighbors and community organizations can borrow materials to quickly create social events. 

DC Office of Planning website: https://planning.dc.gov/our-city-our-spaces