Swamplot today is brought to you by the Downtown District — to let you know about its Clean and Safe program. Many thanks for supporting this site!
City government plays a crucial role in developing Downtown, but with so many areas to address no one administration can accomplish everything. That is why the Downtown District, an organization with strong ties to the business community and city leadership, is important: not only to look at the big picture but also to provide Downtown the continuity it needs to address a multitude of issues, including cleanliness and safety.
For 25 years, the Downtown District’s Downtown Street Teams have performed what many may see as simple tasks, such as picking up litter and trash, reporting needed repairs, and removing graffiti. But by taking care of those “little things,” they provide an environment that people take pride in and have now come to expect.
More recently, the Downtown Public Safety Guide Program was launched. The development of this program came through focus-group meetings with various downtown stakeholders, including representatives of residential, commercial, corporate, arts, and hospitality communities. The Guides focus on assisting pedestrians while identifying and monitoring on-street activities and working with property and business owners, Downtown Street Teams, HPD, social services, and others to help resolve issues and problems.
In 2016 the Downtown District’s combined teams had more than 115,000 civilian interactions. These interactions vary from helping someone find a parked car to giving directions to Discovery Green to helping a homeless person in need — and more. For the week of the Super Bowl alone, the team assisted more than 40,000 Houstonians and visitors!
Without the Clean and Safe program, no matter what you do to improve the Downtown area — building new buildings, increasing green space, adding or improving public art, infrastructure, or holding big events — there will be a reluctance for people to want to visit, stay, work, or live Downtown. Responding to the growing needs and demands of stakeholders, the Downtown District is committed to taking the management of Downtown’s pedestrian and streetscape environment to the next level.
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