Wednesday, June 01, 2005


This kind of inventive urban planning is the way that cities should go. Mixed-use development is the smartest way to build communities and to foster economic growth. Residents have a sense of "place" and it is a much better alternative to unsightly sprawl.

New York Times: DENVER - Since 2002, more than 1,500 houses have sprouted on land here that was once covered by runways from the earliest days of jet travel, as a 7.5-square-mile mixed-use development rises at the former Stapleton airport, about a 15-minute drive east of downtown.

Ultimately expected to have a population of 30,000 when it is completed in about 2020, Stapleton is believed to be the largest project ever undertaken to fill in vacant or underused urban land.

Set against a backdrop of the downtown skyline and the Front Range of the Rockies, the project has been widely praised as a model of "new urbanism." The houses, mimicking the style found in older, walkable neighborhoods here, are close together, with the garages in back and only the tiniest of yards. Front porches encourage passersby to stop and chat. About 1,100 acres have been set aside for parks.

"From our perspective, it's one of the best examples of 'smart growth' in the Denver region," said Will Coyne, the land-use advocate for Environment Colorado, a nonprofit organization that often criticizes large-scale development.

Homes at Stapleton are going up faster than anyone anticipated. Forest City Enterprises, the Cleveland-based company that was chosen in 1999 to manage the development of Stapleton, was required to buy 1,090 acres of the city-owned land in the first five years, a deadline it met in four. Residents can choose among about 20 home builders, with prices ranging from $100,000 or so for a condominium to more than $1 million for a house facing a park.

New Urbanism in Denver - New York Times

Update: Check out another blog on this topic, A Little Urbanity

To learn more about NEW URBANISM, check out the fantastic website, New Urbanism.org


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