Skip to main content

Downtown Parks and Public Spaces lays out a vision for our next generation of parks and public spaces – places that connect people to nature, citizens to government, students to learning, businesses to resources, and neighbors to each other.

Goals

Downtown Boise is developing at an unprecedented pace, in part, because of its mix of services, broad range of uses and spaces, and the sheer (and growing) number of people moving in, out and around it at all times of the day, week and year. With increasing development comes the need to identify locations for parks and public spaces that complement Boise’s growth, and make the highest and best use of land in the Downtown.

In the summer of 2015, the City of Boise started gathering public input. Listening stations were set up at public events throughout Downtown, collecting input from more than 250 members of the general public. Additional outreach included a number of focus group meetings with key Downtown stakeholders.

Overall, respondents strongly supported efforts to create, maintain, and activate current and future public spaces, particularly in underutilized or vacant places. Examples include areas around the Connector, West Side (Main and Fairview Street), surface parking, empty lots (Parcel A and B), and Front and Myrtle Streets. This information led to the development of the following goals:

  • Anchor distinct Downtown neighborhoods with signature parks and public spaces
  • Highlight nature in Downtown
  • Celebrate the history, art, and culture of the city
  • Connect places, energize people

Outcomes

Many different kinds of parks and public spaces are needed for Downtown Boise and its different neighborhoods. The following projects are slated to begin in the next year or two. These will be the first to meet the growing range of needs and desires for public spaces and public life in Boise’s Downtown.

Boise City Hall Plaza Renovation

Boise City Hall’s plaza will undergo renovations starting in late spring or early summer. The renovated plaza will create a flexible public space that serves both larger gatherings and daily use. Art will be integrated along with a new water feature to create a signature place to connect with others. The rebuilding process will wrap up by early December.

A comprehensive list of projects can be found here.

Crowd of people enjoying event in Freak Alley, Boise, Idaho.

Union Block and Freak Alley (pictured) will be undergoing improvements starting in fall 2017 so that they are safe, comfortable, more inviting and more usable by the public.

Children playing in the water at the Grove Fountain in Boise, Idaho.

Boise is poised to see the rise of distinct downtown neighborhoods and districts that are beautified by their relationship with nature; anchored by history and culture; bolstered by housing, businesses and activities; connected through a well-planned transportation system; and energized by signature parks and public spaces.