Below is my list of ten planning lessons learned from multiple visits to Colorado’s Front Range in the past 18 months. Some are positive, some are not. They are presented in no particular order of preference. Cheers!
- A large, auto-centric city can be successfully retro-fitted with commuter rail and bike trails and learn to love using both of them.
- Sprawl is much more apparent and visible on the wide-open prairie.
- An impressive and successful airport is definitely a strong economic development tool.
- Immense natural beauty must be protected with extra vigor.
- There is a stark contrast between positive development patterns in Boulder and those not-so-positive ones in the nearby Denver suburbs.
- Downtown Denver definitely has been re-discovered.
- The redevelopment of Stapleton (former airport) is impressive and should be a helpful guide for similar projects elsewhere.
- A former major shopping mall (South Glenn) can be successfully transformed into a vibrant mixed-use shopping, residential, and entertainment complex.
- Scenic vistas can be lost in a heartbeat because of bad planning and/or design.
- Just because you have wide-open spaces, doesn’t mean they all have to be built upon – otherwise, watch-out Southeast Wyoming!