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Downtown Public Space Management – Thank you for your input!

Staff is working with a Committee of the Downtown Commission on the development and implementation of a Downtown Public Space Management Framework. 

A survey was available in Fall of 2019 to get feedback on how downtown public spaces (most specifically streets and sidewalks) are currently used and experienced, and to get input on what priorities should be considered in the guidelines.

Here are the survey results:

summary of results

full survey results

On October 22, 2019 the Public Space Management Committee participated in a workshop to review survey results, rank priorities and identify focus areas to be addressed by the Framework.

Informed by survey feedback and guidance of the Committee, staff has completed a draft of the Public Space Management Framework.

Following a break during COVID while staff’s focus shifted toward the AVL Shares Space program, the Committee was re-established in early 2022 as the Downtown Public Space Management Task Force.

The Public Space Management Task Force meets on an ad-hoc basis to advance goals and priorities of the Framework, and provide feedback on projects and initiatives that impact downtown’s public realm.

Meeting notices and materials are available on the Downtown Commission page here.



Efforts around Downtown Public Space Management build on the Downtown Master Plan and Appendices (completed in 2009), to take a deeper dive into specific topics of focus related to management of the public realm. This work helps address concerns about management of public spaces, enhancement of community character and expanded options for place-making. Goals are to expand downtown vitality, facilitate local business and enhance livability while managing growing demands on downtown services and competing interests for use of space.

There are three main areas of focus:

Public Space Management

  • Public space management guidelines
  • Management framework

Urban Design and Ordinance Updates

  • UDO amendments
  • Zoning map amendments
  • Design Guideline updates
  • Preservation Plan recommendations

Corridor and District Placemaking and Streetscapes

  • Downtown-wide development/streetscape standards (such as lighting, signage, seating, crosswalks).
  • Consideration of sub-district areas that may have unique elements/standards that pertain to the character area/neighborhood of downtown such as sidewalk patterns,
    trees, seating and other enhanced place-making.
  • Identification of key corridors that could benefit from streetscape changes such as wider sidewalks, traffic adjustments, bulb-outs, etc. 
  • Planning for additional green spaces in downtown in order to enhance quality of life and quality experiences.


Contact Information

Dana Frankel, Downtown Planning Manager




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Planning and Urban Design

The Planning and Urban Design Department provides sound, professional land use planning, zoning, urban design and historic preservation and other services to achieve livable and sustainable neighborhoods for everyone. The department is committed to collaborating with our community on its vision for equitable growth and development consistent with Asheville’s adopted plans.  Learn more about department services, [...]