Boulder experienced outdoor spaces in new ways when streets were temporarily repurposed to meet community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the public health emergency that led to these changes has ended, the City of Boulder is committed to reimagining public spaces, together with the community.

  1. Plan

    Fall/Winter 2022

  2. Community Engagement

    Winter to Spring 2023

  3. Build

    Spring/Summer 2023

  4. Complete

    End of 2023

Project Overview

The Downtown Streets as Public Space project will involve an inclusive public engagement process to reimagine downtown streets as welcoming spaces to gather, attend events and connect with Boulder.

By spring 2023, the project will lead to temporary repurposing of downtown streets with programming, cultural events, public art and more. By the end of 2023, the project will result in long-term recommendations for changes to streets as public spaces.

Examples Around the World

Provide Your Input

  1. Anytime during the project, pick locations on the interactive map to show the project team where you want to see changes.
  2. Fill out the online questionnaire by Jan. 31 to share your desires and concerns for downtown public space. The questionnaire is now closed.
  3. More feedback opportunities coming soon.

​​​​​​​Thank you for providing input on downtown streets as public space. Your feedback, together with technical considerations such as safety, will be used to develop pop-up options this spring and summer.

Community Engagement

Engagement opportunities began in early 2023.

Downtown Boulder must be welcoming to all. Community engagement will consider trade-offs to create solutions for a shared vision of streets downtown.

A meaningful public engagement process will ensure streets in downtown Boulder provide experiences that welcome all, build a sense of belonging and create accessible connections.

January/February Engagement

For a full engagement summary, view the report below.

Previous Engagement

The project builds on earlier public feedback from businesses, residents, workers and visitors. This includes emails to council and survey responses for other downtown projects.


Early 2023

  • Community engagement begins

  • City staff create recommendations that consider different community needs and desires

  • Council provides feedback on staff recommendations

Spring and Summer 2023

  • Short-term changes to downtown streets begin

  • Community members explore pop-ups, try programming and new physical features, and compare tradeoffs

Winter 2023

City staff provide results and recommendations for next steps to City Council, such as:

  • Ideas for long-term or permanent changes

  • Evaluations of other areas in the city

  • More detailed designs and action plans

  • Future policy updates


During pandemic-related temporary changes to streets, including west Pearl Street, the community expressed a significant desire for more pedestrianized spaces downtown. City Council directed city staff to begin a public engagement process to better understand community aspirations for future opportunities.

red boundaries indicating the Downtown Streets as Public Space Project Area

Downtown Streets as Public Space Project Area


There are trade-offs between different ways to use public streets. The project will consider:

  • Public feedback

  • Engagement from other downtown projects

  • Technical and feasibility analyses

  • Safe travel and access for people using all transportation modes

  • The city’s placemaking, mobility, public safety, racial equity, resilience and sustainability goals

  • Local, national, and international examples of streets as public space

While this project focuses on a smaller part of Boulder to quickly create new pop-up experiences for the community to try in Spring 2023, results will help inform future long-term projects for public spaces across the city.

The subcommittee was formed at the direction of City Council to work together with city staff on the project process. This includes confirming next steps for the community engagement plan, collecting feedback from council members and progress check-ins.

The subcommittee includes council members Tara Winer and Matt Benjamin, and the directors and interim directors of Planning and Development Services, Transportation and Mobility, Communication and Engagement and Community Vitality.

The accelerated planning process will allow the city to temporarily change street spaces in the spring and summer, opening the door to more meaningful community engagement during the warmer weather when outdoor spaces are used more often and by more people.