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Public Space Management Plan

About the Public Space Management Plan

The purpose of this project is to develop a Public Space Management Plan to provide a vision, goals, and guidance on how public space will be used and maintained in Takoma Park. This plan will be an update to the City’s 1994 Open Space Plan (amended in 1999).

Public space includes:

  • parks, playgrounds and playing fields
  • plazas and places to gather like the Gazebo
  • natural spaces and wooded areas like Sligo Creek and Long Branch stream valley parks
  • streets that may be used for alternative activities like outdoor cafe seating or bike lanes

Public Space Management Plan Goals

City Council approved the goals and scope of work for the work (see information regarding Council review under “Links” in the right column). Identified goals are:

Laurel Avenue street closure
  • Maintenance and enhancement of existing resources
  • Connectivity and accessibility to public space for all
  • Establish criteria for acquisition
  • Creative reuse of right-of-way as public space
Public Space Management Plan Survey, Fall/Winter 2020

In September, 2020, the City of Takoma Park released a survey that invited all residents of Takoma Park to share their opinions about public space management priorities and opinions about the current state of public space in the city.  To learn more about how residents responded, check out the Public Space Management Plan Survey Results (Summary).

Streetscape Manual

Takoma Park’s streetscape is a vital and significant part of our city. Our streetscape reflects not only up-to-date amenities that guide our bicycles, pedestrians, and automobiles safely over our streets and walkways. It also reflects continuity with our history and with the values that bind us together as a residential community.

Assessment of Park Quality, Proximity, and Race, Summer 2020

The planning staff is developing tools to guide decisions about access and improvements in public space. These tools include a park amenity data collection process, a park grading scale, and an analytic distance matrix process with racial demographics to look at accessibility.

The Assessment of Park Quality, Proximity, and Race will help to identify gaps where the city can improve on public space quality and accessibility with respect to racial demographics. When combined with Census block group racial demographic data, the Mapbox Matrix API portion of this project provides data on park proximity within the city on different racial groups and what kinds of parks and amenities are most accessible to these same demographics (active parks or passive parks). These preliminary findings may help the city prioritize the development of more public space amenities for underserved people and areas in the City.

Planning staff has created two interactive webmaps which can be used to visualized data from this three part analysis. The webmaps can be viewed using the links below.
–  Park Inventory and Quality Assessment
–  Proximity Analysis

In July, 2020, City Council received a presentation on the assessment.

Project Lead & Contact Info

Phone: 301-891-7213


Links & Notes

January 2021 — Public Space Survey Results (Summary)

July 29, 2020 — City Staff presented a Public Space assessment to Council on park quality, proximity, and race. Agenda; Video of Council Presentation; Presentation Slides

January 22, 2020 — Council Work Session to Review Scope of Work, Draft Goals, and Timeline for Public Space Management Plan

November 14, 2018 — Council Work Session on the Review of Scope of Work for Public Lands Management Plan

July 20, 2016 — Resolution Adopting the Takoma Park Streetscape Manual

March 3, 2015 — Council Discussion of Public Land and Open Space Management Planning

An outdoor concert with a street piano public art at the Gazebo.

Research Documents and Links

1994-12-121994 Open Space Plan
2016-04-01City Parks Amenities Inventory
2020-07-29Park Quality and Proximity in Takoma Park, MD
2020-07-29Park Inventory in the City of Takoma Park, MD
2021-04-28Streetscape Manual 2021
2021-01-15Streetscape Manual Webmap
2021-01-21 CDC's Social Vulnerability Index (SVI)
2020-07-29Walk Time to Active Parks in the City of Takoma Park, MD
2020-12-15Assessment of Park Quality, Proximity and Race in Takoma Park
2021-03-02Public Space Management Plan Survey Results (Summary)

Planning and Community Development Sections