The public realm is a vital aspect of the built environment that helps to give a city its identity. It primarily consists of the roadways, sidewalks, parks, plazas, and other open spaces that comprise the arteries and focal points of the urban framework. It is the main space where civic interaction occurs and is often defined in contrast to private property.
A well designed public realm balances the mobility and access needs for all users and contributes to the efficient functioning of a city and its sense of place. The quality of our public realm is at the heart of how we experience and relate to the surrounding environment. Therefore, it is important that the public realm is safe, sustainable, and enriching.
Program at a Glance
Program Title: Public Realm Design Manual
Providing Agency: District Department of Transportation
Office: Policy, Planning and Sustainability Administration (PPSA)
Type: Outreach and Education
To design a public realm that balances the mobility and access needs for all users.
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DC Office of Planning
Standards and Guidelines
District Transportation Access Portal
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