How well do you know your city?

We want to begin this new public education campaign by sharing some of the basics about our most frequently asked questions...However, our efforts to keep you informed will not stop here!


Every month, we will focus on a specific topic of interest about the City of Columbia and share facts, statistics and details that you may not know about your city.


Select a department or topic from the list below for more additional information. 

 Services Guide

Know Your City Services Guide


Columbia Richland Alerts

  • The City of Columbia and Richland County launched a program that alerts you with information for public safety and community awareness.To ensure that we can reach you with the information you need, when you need it, this notification system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly with a variety of contact preferences.



Neighborhoods & Housing

The Community Development Department is the fuel supporting the local economy by providing resources and opportunities for growth. Community Development administers federal, state and local funding and ensures compliance. Their programs increase homeownership and build neighborhood capacity while offering excellent customer service. 
Columbia's strength lies in her neighborhoods. The City of Columbia works closely with neighborhood organizations to increase the lines of communications between neighborhoods and Government.Learn more at


Parks & Recreation

Whether you live in the City, are neighbors to us in the great state of South Carolina or are just visiting, we invite you to take advantage of the great services we provide, the beautiful parks we maintain and all the wonderful indoor and outdoor activities we offer, from golf and tennis to swimming and recreation league play.
We continue to look for new ways to engage you and strive to give you the best that we have to offer. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for all those we serve through good stewardship of the city's natural and physical resources, through the presentment of safe and accessible facilities and through the operation of exemplary leisure services. Learn more about the Parks and Recreation Department.



Working for the City

We are Columbia...a World-Class City looking for World-Class Talent. The City is always in the process of recruiting great people to fill the positions we have available. We employ a diverse workforce from animal technicians to zoning inspectors.
If you are looking for a dynamic organization focused on providing exceptional services to the citizens and visitors of the City of Columbia, please visit the City Career Portal to see our current career opportunities.

Education & Libraries

Traditional wisdom tells us "knowledge is power." In Columbia, we're committed to empowering our residents - students and "the rest of us" - with knowledge as deep, broad and rich as possible.
Our public school district - Richland One - is the seventh largest in the state, with more than 23,000 students representing 41 countries and as many languages. Spread over more than 482 square miles, our 50 elementary, middle and high schools and centers serve urban, suburban and rural communities in the greater Columbia area.
With five major universities and colleges, we offer higher education opportunities that are the envy of many larger cities in the country. The academic quality of these Columbia area institutions is evident in the impressive number of outstanding students, educators and researchers we attract year after year from around the world.
And finally, our public library is also widely recognized as superb - a true model of 21st century education and information resources. Learn more at



Recycling & Sustainability 

The Solid Waste and Recycling Division provides collection and disposal within the corporate city limits for garbage, recycling and yard waste.The City of Columbia observes 10 holidays and the Solid Waste Division collects on regular schedule for most holidays.
To find changes in holiday collection schedules, visit our Waste Wizard!

The City of Columbia's Climate Protection Action Campaign, better known as CPAC, empowers all Columbians to improve the environment through water conservation, energy conservation, air quality and recycling/waste reduction. CPAC was formed by Columbia City Council in 2006 after signing the US Conference of Mayors Climate Action Plan. CPAC now serves as City's clearinghouse for environmental action, information and activities.
For more information regarding sustainability, please visit


Design, Planning & Public Spaces

The Planning Division facilitates and implements long and short-range plans for the City, its business districts, corridors, and neighborhoods.
  • Public Space/Public Life - Public space is what connects the people and places in our cities and neighborhoods together. A high quality public realm that supports vibrant public life is critical to making downtown and nearby neighborhoods inviting places to live, work and play.  The partnership with Gehl Studio will lead an ethnographic architectural analysis of the area using Gehl’s Public Space Public Life Survey. The survey will help to better understand who uses the area’s public spaces – streets and sidewalks included – and what they do on them. For Volunteer Opportunities to Survey a Public space please go to
  • Shaping Columbia - The City of Columbia is rewriting its Zoning and Land Development Ordinance. The process began in 2014 when the City of Columbia and Richland County gathered extensive community input to shape long-term plans for growth. The rewrite will ensure the city’s regulations are aligned with those plans, reflect contemporary zoning best practices, and are more user-friendly.
  • Plan Columbia - City Council adopted the updated Land Use Plan on February 17, 2015.  The adopted Land Use Plan (34MB) is available for review.



Local Arts & Culture





Dining, Shops & Galleries

Columbia is a treasure trove of surprises and delights, intrigue and inspiration for shoppers who love the luxury of choice in everything from fashion to food. With a vibrant resurgence on Main Street, the evolving artistic environment in The Vista, and the delightfully unique discoveries that await explorers in Five Points, on Devine Street, along Trenholm Road and beyond, our eclectic variety of shops and galleries make our community a something-for-everyone paradise.




City News & Information

The City of Columbia Public and Media Relations Department is the "voice" that informs the city of everything that happens, everything that's about to happen, and how to access virtually every service, system and opportunity available in our community.
From information, invitations and explanations to guidance, advice, announcements and important "heads up" alerts about what's new and what's "news" - it's the Public and Media Relations Department's employees who gather the facts and do whatever it takes to get the word out to the city.
They're the city's communicators - in print and on video, at press conferences and in media releases, via e-blasts and web content, and through any other channels that suit the subject, the audience and the deadline at hand.
In short, this group is the invaluable knowledge connection that keeps everyone in touch with the fact that We Are Columbia! Learn more about the Public and Media Relations Department at 


How to do Business

There are several business resources available in the City of Columbia. Check out the links below for more information.




Freedom of Information Act

What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the law that allows individuals to gain access to public records. Learn more at South Carolina Code of Laws_Unannotated_Current through the end of the 2014 Session.
How do I make a FOIA Request?
Please call, email or fax the City of Columbia FOIA Office to make your Freedom of Information Act request. Download FOIA Request Form
Contact Information
City of Columbia FOIA Office
1401 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201 *All visitors should use the Washington Street side entrance
P: (803) 737-0000
F: (803) 737-4250
For information regarding FOIA Requests, please visit



Mayor & City Council

The Mayor and Council make policies and enact laws. City Council consists of the Mayor, Council District members (4) and At-Large Council members (2). Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
To view profiles for the Mayor and City Council, please click below:


City Manager & Executive Management

  • City Manager - Teresa Wilson
  • Assistant City Manager of Operation & Development Services - Melissa S. Gentry
  • Assistant City Manager of Finance & Economic Services | Chief Financial Officer - Jeff Palen

Public Safety

The Columbia Police Department is an integral part of the community, and it’s very, very important that our community feels connected to the police department. The nearly 400 officers are well educated, well trained, motivated to serve and, above all, respectful of the people they are sworn to protect. 

Even if their only responsibility was to respond to fire alarms, the Columbia-Richland County Fire Department deserves respect and gratitude. The fact is, they do far more to protect lives, property and the environment in our community. The Fire Department is responsible for enforcing fire codes, providing public fire safety education programs, investigating arson, and responding – fast – not only to fires but also to rescue situations, hazardous materials leaks and natural disasters. 

The Columbia-Richland 9-1-1 Communications Center provides 24/7/365, 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatch and Public Service response to citizens and user agencies for both the City of Columbia and Richland County. Services provided include, but are not limited to, emergency and non-emergency requests for service, dispatch of Police, Fire and Richland County Emergency Department, to include EMS. 



Frequently Dialed Numbers

To view a list of frequently dialed numbers, visit