Managing the city’s public spaces

In April 2021, Boulder’s City Council approved a pilot program to formulize the Safe and Managed Public Spaces (SAMPS) team. This team reflects a coordinated approach to manage camping and unsafe behavior in the city’s public spaces.

Library underpass skate area

Library underpass skate area.

Safe and Managed Public Spaces

The Safe and Managed Public Spaces team's mission is to ensure that public spaces are safe and welcoming for all. The team takes a compassionate approach with residents who are camping while ensuring that the city's ordinances are enforced.

Long-Term Goals

This work is guided by seven goals that achieve a compassionate approach with people who are camping while ensuring that the city’s ordinances are enforced. The team routinely evaluates the effectiveness of this approach and adapts as needed to evolving challenges.

1: No camping in public spaces

  • Increase efficiency of clean-up operations.
  • Broaden geographic footprint of campsite clean-ups.

2: Individuals experiencing homelessness are connected to services

  • Understand personal property-related barriers to accessing services.
  • Ensure connections to services are as efficient and effective as possible.
  • Improve connections, data sharing and communication between SAMPS team members.

3: Access to public space and public infrastructure is not impeded

  • Evaluate programs and practices that ensure access to public space and infrastructure.
  • Establish criteria for identifying areas which require immediate response due to acute life/safety issues or access to public buildings.

4: Reduction in crime and disorder in designated areas of emphasis

  • Evaluate historical patterns of crime and disorder in designated areas of emphasis.
  • Maintain police support in designated areas.

5: Visitors have access to knowledgeable resources on city services

  • Enhance Urban Park Ranger Role.
  • Increase scope of Downtown Ambassador Program.
  • Improve knowledge base for visitor requests/questions

6: Crews can safely perform their work in public spaces

  • Explore methods to improve measurement of barriers to safe access.
  • Identify methods to improve worker safety in parks and public spaces.

7: Users of public spaces feel safe and welcoming

  • Improve information sharing and communication to enhance community confidence in SAMPS work.
  • Continue to improve site activation.