Downtown Denver skyline with sunset.

Transforming Spaces to Engaging Places Through the Downtown Denver Partnership

February 11, 2020

Though it’s been some time since Beth Moyski attended the masters in public administration program in CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs, her connections to the program are ever-present. 

“I encounter classmates through my work on a regular basis—including elected and appointed officials at the state and local levels,” said Moyski (MPA ’94), vice president of special districts at the Downtown Denver Partnership, a nonprofit that for more than 60 years has led a bold vision to build an economically powerful center city. “The foundation I received from my coursework in projects in economics, finance, ethics, and governmental management still serve me to this day.”

Moyski, a Denver-born Colorado native, lived around the state in Sterling, Widefield, Colorado Springs, Glenwood Springs, and Fort Collins before settling in downtown Denver. Her work in local government, collaborating with businesses, workers, and residents, to build great communities and cities, is what inspired her career trajectory, she said. Prior to her current role, she served as the assistant town manager for the Town of Superior in Boulder County.  

Moyski now oversees the management of the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (DDBID), a 120-block district in the heart of downtown, and the 14th Street General Improvement District (GID). She also works with the Five Points Business Improvement District and other public and private entities to provide “services that foster clean, safe, welcoming environments for the people who work, visit, and live downtown.”

Special districts, she explained, are entities that are formed when constituents, or in the case of BIDs, commercial property owners, petition the city to form a specially assessed district to deliver maintenance and services over and above what the city is able to provide. “By pooling funding, property owners can leverage economies of scale to provide supplemental services ranging from private security patrols, additional sidewalk cleaning, graffiti removal and trash collection, to installation and maintenance of flowers and landscaping. We work year-round to activate spaces within the DDBID. We activate alleys with art; transform the Mall and Skyline Park into winter wonderlands with holiday lights; and help create unexpected pleasant experiences for everyone. Working in an urban setting is always dynamic and no two days or even hours are alike.”

Moyski loves how many seemingly unrelated elements add up in her line of work. “Great places, whether they are parks or plazas, streetscapes or pathways, infrastructure design, construction and soft elements like flowers, trees and tables, chairs and benches aren’t successful without the people—you cannot have one element without the other when it comes to building a great place. I like being a part of taking a space that might not be working for most and transforming it into a place where people want to be; a place that offers engaging, memorable experiences to all who use it.”