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GSA Renews Commitment to Enhancing Public Spaces

GSA #10403

September 13, 2007                             
Contact: Maryanne Beatty, (202) 501-1231                                   

Melissa Williams ,(202)501-1231
WASHINGTON  – The U.S. General Services Administration, manager of 8,600 federal properties across the nation and steward of 425 historic landmarks, has published a new workbook to help guide GSA property managers on how to enhance public spaces in federal buildings.

“Federal buildings in many communities are the government’s most prominent representative, a symbol of democracy,” said David Winstead, Commissioner for GSA’s Public Buildings Service. “It’s important that these spaces are accessible to the public and that they convey a positive image of the federal government.”  

GSA produced, “Achieving Great Federal Public Spaces—A Property Manager’s Guide” in collaboration with the Project for Public Spaces. The workbook provides GSA property managers with a step-by-step process on how to enhance public spaces such as plazas, lobbies, atria and grounds.  It suggests short, medium, and long-term improvements — from actions as simple as reducing clutter and inviting civic organizations to use public spaces for activities and events, to more elaborate measures such as buildings enhancements, including the streamlining of the security process in lobbies.

“When managed effectively, these spaces support neighborhood goals and play an important role in how our client agencies view their workplaces,” commented Anthony Costa, Deputy Commissioner for Public Buildings.  “It is in our collective interests that we make the most of our public spaces.”

The centerpiece of the publication is the “Place Audit,” a detailed on-site evaluation exercise that property managers may complete with various stakeholders, including building tenants and members of the community.  The audit reveals strengths and weaknesses and offers solutions on how to maximize the use of a property’s public spaces.

The workbook is based on the premise that GSA’s buildings and public spaces should reflect the dignity and accessibility of government; be secure and welcoming; improve tenant satisfaction and building revenue; provide a forum for tenant activity and public use; and act as a catalyst for downtown revitalization.

To learn more about how GSA is working with communities, visit  To download a copy of the guide, go to


Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government.  GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles.  GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 425 historic properties, and as manager of, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

Did You Know?  GSA has a presence in over 2,000 American communities, including 500 cities with federal buildings and 70 cities with more than one million square feet of GSA-managed space.

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30