Downtown Targets Public Safety with Six-Point Plan

With his downtown struggling to make a full comeback from the pandemic, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced a Safe and Clean Downtown initiative designed to address some of the city’s most pressing issues.

The plan has six parts:

  • Clean and safe app. The city partnered with the Downtown Denver Partnership to launch the Clean & Safe app, which lets any resident or visitor notify the city and community partners when they see something that makes Denver feel less than safe and clean.
  • Fast responses to issues. The new app allows the city to send requests for help to the right people. For instance, a report of someone experiencing a mental health crisis could go to the city’s co-responder program.
  • Denver Ambassador program. A beefed-up ambassador program is a combined effort of nonprofit groups, city employees, private security firms, and the Downtown Denver Partnership. Ambassadors wear yellow vests and share one linked channel of communication.
  • Community activation. “Safety is not just about the absence of crime but about the presence of joy,” says Johnston. The Dynamic Downtown Denver grant program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to help artists, creators, and innovators, bring events and vibrancy downtown.
  • Business activation. The city is also working with business owners to activate their buildings and neighborhoods. The city is working to make it easy to permit and plan these activities.
  • Addressing homelessness. In the second half of 2023, the city moved 1,100 people off the streets and into housing. The city has also cleared out homeless encampments.

More on improving safety and cleanliness appears in the pages of Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter. Click below to learn more about Downtown Idea Exchange and other resources for revitalizing downtowns and commercial corridors.

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