Study aims to enhance 16th Street Mall

Denver is studying the 16th Street Mall in an effort to get more people to stay for longer periods of time in the city's urban core.

The study, "The Mall Experience: The Future of Denver's 16th Street Mall," was led by the city in partnership with the Downtown Denver Partnership with assistance from global consultants Gehl Architects. It's one of three city initiatives designed to activate Denver's urban core. The other projects are "The Next Stage: The Future of Denver's Performing Arts Complex" and "The Outdoor Downtown: The Future of Denver's Parks and Public Spaces."

The guiding principles Gehl has identified for the study are:
 
  • Provide a series of experiences
  • Provide transportation choices
  • Make invitations for people to spend time
  • Encourage lively edges
  • Support a wider network of investment
  • Think beyond the boundaries of 16th Street
  • Create a strong and integrated network
  • Continue to evolve
Last summer, the Downtown Denver Partnership diverted the Free Mall Ride shuttles to 15th and 17th streets for five Sundays for "Meet in the Street," an event that filled the Mall with special events, activities, artwork, food and drink. 

An analysis of the event found that:
 
  • The number of pedestrians overall increased by 30 percent
  • Positive feelings about the Mall increased by 200 percent
  • The number of children increased by 77 percent, and the number of women increased by 65 percent
  • 88 percent of the activities programmed on the Mall resulted in an overall increase in time spent there
The study is designed to measure, test and refine ideas to ensure the Mall remains a vibrant place.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.
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