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67 Parks and Public Spaces Articles | Page: | Show All

WalletHub calls Denver no. 10 city for recreation

WalletHub pegged Denver as the country's no. 10 city for recreation.

Excerpt:

Neighborhood parks are instrumental to building community cohesion, boosting property values, improving public health and reducing pollution. In Washington, for instance, close proximity to a park increases a home’s value by 5 percent. And neighborhood parks in Sacramento, Calif., contribute an estimated savings of nearly $20 million on health care costs.

But the term "parks and recreation" encompasses far more than just park facilities and exercise. In this study, we also consider those whose favorite pastime may be exploring museums, going to concerts or even attending food festivals, all of which contribute to the overall well-being of a city.

To highlight the benefits of public spaces and recreational activities to consumers and the local economy, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 27 key metrics. In each city, we examined basic costs, the quality of parks, the accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities as well as the climate. The results, as well as expert commentary and a detailed methodology, can be found below.

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Architect Magazine reimagines DPAC

Architect Magazine rethought the Denver Performing Arts Complex's architecture in a feature story.

Excerpt:
 
Still, the performing arts center lived up to its initial critical acclaim, both artistically and economically. In the 1980s, as downtown Denver continued to struggle, the complex proved to be a major draw for city dwellers and suburbanites alike. That's still true. In 2013, according to an economic impact study, more than 781,000 patrons attended performances and events at DPAC. Of those, 77 percent came from outside the city. DPAC's total impact on Denver's economy, according to the study, was estimated at $141 million a year.

More than 35 years after it first opened, however, DPAC is showing its age. As the city booms -- since 2000, Denver's downtown population has increased from 7,000 to 19,000, with more on the way -- the complex, though still popular, has become something of an urban design relic. With help from New York-based H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, city officials are in the process of reimagining the center. A master plan is due by the end of the year. It's a complicated, politically charged assignment, but if done well, will bring a new center of vitality to downtown Denver.

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Populous blog covers Coors Field and its impact on downtown

The blog for urban design firm Populous took a look at its work on Coors Field and its revitalizing impact on Lower Downtown Denver.

Excerpt:

Two decades later, Coors Field has had a lasting impact on the city's development, leading to the growth of a charming and eclectic neighborhood surrounding the stadium where pioneering young professionals and families have flocked. The results of the investment in the stadium were both immediate and impactful with retail, restaurants and housing in the surrounding area growing rapidly. LoDo has seen an increase of housing units in the area by 408 percent, growth in the occupancy of hotels downtown by 25 percent and a substantial increase in the number of restaurants (totaling over 70), night clubs, breweries and art galleries in the city.  It was estimated that the economic influence of the stadium was double what initially was predicted -- at $195 million a year.

Fans not only travel to LoDo early to shop, eat and socialize, they also live, work and play in the district on non-game days. The 25-block district is now a national example of the impact an urban ballpark can have on downtown, revitalizing a district in a way worthy of urban textbooks.

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Medium publishes critique on Denver growth

Medium published a critique on Denver growth by local writer Nate Ragolia.

Excerpt:

Today, we’re somewhere near the peak of an incredible real estate boom in the Mile High City. Rents are soaring (just this year mine increased 15%) and the housing market is a shark tank in which first-time buyers are the chum. We applaud our city for its popularity, and its continued success while most of the country stagnates in slumping markets… but we shouldn’t. Denver is missing its last opportunity to become a world-class, 21st Century city. It’s choosing, instead, to be an average, 20th Century American city, and that means we all lose out on something special.

The insurgence of outside real estate investors and costly condo developments, and luxury apartments in the near-Downtown neighborhoods are killing Denver. This boom needs corresponding moderately priced and affordable housing companions, but neither can be found. The Near-Downtown neighborhoods, once gritty and creative, loaded with passion to make our city an artistic and musical mecca are choking out their young, in favor of high-priced developments and suburb-employed commuters. Vibrant, resurgent and diverse neighborhoods are getting facelifts, but the underlying substance is being swept away. On the balance sheet, this is progress, but it means Denver may become another failed commuter metropolis, packed with discontented and alienated citizens.

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CityLab story on bicycling and social equity features Denver councilman Albus Brooks

CityLab story on bicycling and social equity featured Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks.

Excerpt:

In an interview with Albus Brooks, a Denver city councilman who rides his bike for the sheer joy it brings him, the report touches on these complexities and stereotypes. Brooks tells the story of going to a meeting with African-American leaders in the city. "I came in in a suit and a bike helmet," Brooks is quoted as saying. "These were all middle-class African Americans that do not ride bikes. And they looked at me as if I were an alien." Brooks goes on to say he hopes that by opening streets for special bike events, he can introduce these same people to the health and economic benefits of biking. "We're going to go on cultural rides where we block off a couple miles of streets and try to introduce to leaders in the community what bike infrastructure is all about."

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Geology Page reports on new theory behind Denver's mile-high elevation

Geology Page reported on a new theory that Denver's mile-high elevation is a result of a flood below.

Excerpt:

No one really knows how the High Plains got so high. About 70 million years ago, eastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming, western Kansas and western Nebraska were near sea level. Since then, the region has risen about 2 kilometers, leading to some head scratching at geology conferences.

Now researchers at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder have proposed a new way to explain the uplift: Water trapped deep below Earth's crust may have flooded the lower crust, creating buoyancy and lift. The research appears online this week in the journal Geology and could represent a new mechanism for elevating broad regions of continental crust.

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Endless Vacation names DBG to top 10 gardens list

Endless Vacation named Denver Botanic Gardens to a list of the world's top 10 botanic gardens.

Excerpt:

Colorado's dry climate is on spectacular display at the Denver Botanic Gardens, which are split between three locations: the main, 24-acre York Street enclosure; the larger Chatfield meadow and historic homestead; and the Mount Goliath alpine-wildflower garden. Exhibitions change with the seasons (one focused on Dale Chihuly was on view most recently), and the 5,258-square-foot Science Pyramid learning center just opened.

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HuffPost Travel calls Denver top U.S. city to visit in 2015

Huffington Post Travel put Denver on the short list of U.S. cities to visit in 2015.

Excerpt:

5. And Denver, Colorado is just plain awesome. 

Anyone who's anyone performs at nearby Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, which is basically the coolest, most magical place to see a concert. Grab a drink at Old Major after, head to Root Down for awesome eats, and make sure to lounge in Washington Park and stop by the Denver Art Museum.

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Planetizen looks at Denver's retrofitted suburban malls

Planetizen published a story on Denver's retrofitted suburban malls leading a national trend towards New Urbanism.

Excerpt:

This topic is of interest because Denver has been retrofitting its dead and dying suburban malls for a while now, on a New Urbanist "town center" model. More than half of our dozen or so regional malls are already retrofitted, and more are being repurposed as we speak. Dunham-Jones routinely identifies Belmar on the site of the old Villa Italia Mall in suburban Lakewood as a retrofit success story, distinguished by green buildings, great connectivity, and a nice "sense of place." Simmons Buntin concurs in his chapter about Belmar for Planetizen Press's Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places. He pitches Belmar as "a model for redeveloping suburban malls across the U.S." Alan Ehrenhalt, in The Great Inversion, casts Denver as "the emerging capital" of America's suburban town center phenomenon.

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Storage Talk lists "17 Things to Know About Living in Denver"

The Storage Talk blog published a list of "17 Things to Know About Living in Denver."

Excerpt:

Employment opportunities and startup adventures are endless in Denver, which was named fourth in ForbesBest Places for Business list in early 2014. By the end of the year, the metro's job growth outpaced the rest of the country. According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education and health services saw the most growth in Denver's economy, but there was also a significant increase in industries like leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and mining, logging, and construction.

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Transportation Transformation Project credits Mile High Connects

MZ Strategies' Transportation Transformation Project gave credit to coalitions like Denver's Mile High Connects.

Excerpt:

Use and Maintain Cross-Sector Coalitions.
Among the questions this project sought to answer was the level and type of coordination needed between local and national advocates to influence local and regional transformation, while also catalyzing larger state and federal policy change and market
transformation. Cross-sector coalitions have emerged as a highly effective means of coordination both for groups within a region and also to engage national advocates either directly as coalition partners, or to help coordinate, provide technical assistance and strategic direction to these types of collaboratives. The Great Communities Collaborative in the Bay Area, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, and Mile High Connects in Denver all illustrate this type of approach.

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On the Commons highlights creative placemaking in Denver

New Freedom Park in east Denver is a prototype for creative placemakers, says On the Commons.

Excerpt:

Denver's New Freedom Park--Refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Somalia, Burundi and Nepal living on the East Side of Denver were seeking a place where they could grow food, celebrate their culture and where their kids could safely play. The Trust for Public Land teamed up with the Colorado Health Foundation and Denver Park & Recreation to transform a 2-acre vacant lot strewn with broken glass into New Freedom Park, which now features 50 family garden plots, a playground, a soccer field and a community gathering spot in the shade of cottonwood trees.

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Seattle's SunBreak dishes on foodie trip to Denver

The SunBreak of Seattle took a three-day trip to Denver to sample local food.

Excerpt:

Day 2

Especially if you’ve been "battered" by too much beer, make haste to El Taco de Mexico in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. A bigger-than-your-head burrito will help your hangover blues, but even better, if it’s the weekend, is a large bowl of menudo. Doctor up the bowl as you see fit with onion, cilantro, oregano, and lime, but be prepared for the powerful punch of strong chili flavor. What a great way to wake up in the morning. (The restaurant opens daily at 7am.)

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WaPo: Mayors peg Denver fourth most influential city

The Washington Post reported on a national survey of mayors that tabbed Denver as the fourth most influential city in the U.S., after New York, Boston, and Austin, and ahead of Portland. Denver was second to only New York on the list of influential large cities.

Excerpt:

The survey included responses from 68 mayors, including 18 of cities with at least 30,000 residents. It found the mayors rely on information from other mayors and cities more than any other source, other than their staff. When asked what three cities they looked to for policy and management ideas, New York and Boston tied for the most mentions, followed by Austin, Denver, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.
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CU Denver study links city design and health

Research at CU Denver indicated that older, more compact cities with lots of intersections were healthier than newer communities.


Excerpt:

The researchers examined street network density, connectivity and configuration. Then they asked how these measures of street design impacted rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma. The study used data collected by the California Health Interview Survey for the years 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, sampling between 42,000 and 51,000 adults.

The results showed that increased intersection density was significantly linked to reduction in obesity at the neighborhood level and of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease at the city level. The more intersections, the lower the disease rates.

The study also found a correlation between wider streets with more lanes and increased obesity and diabetes rates. The reason, the researchers said, was that wider streets may be indicative of an inferior pedestrian environment.  The presence of a 'big box' store also tends to be indicative of poor walkability in a neighborhood and was associated with a 13.7 percent rise in obesity rates and a 24.9 percent increase in diabetes rates.

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67 Parks and Public Spaces Articles | Page: | Show All
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