On Friday, September 20, 2019, students from the WTS Colorado Student Chapter hosted a pop-up parklet in Larimer Square to celebrate International PARK(ing) Day. An annual event that repurposes curbside parking spaces into spaces for people, known as parklets, PARK(ing) Day has been celebrated all over the world as designers, students, artists, and community members reimagine public streets into vibrant, people-friendly spaces.
This year, the Denver Streets Partnership collaborated with SPIN, the Better Block Foundation, the Downtown Denver Partnership, and Denver Public Works to celebrate National PARK(ing) Day in Denver. As part of this event, they encouraged community members to host their own parklets around the city. The WTS Colorado Student Chapter, an student-run organization that promotes women in the transportation field and advocates for transportation equity and innovation, decided to build their own parklet, which was themed "Larimer's Living Room".
The small but determined group of students took over two on-street parking spaces in Larimer Square, right in front of The Market. Using mainly donated and borrowed materials, they created a peaceful and engaging space that invited passersby to sit down, relax, read a book, or play a game. One half of the parklet offered a free library - complete with over 100 architecture books, all free for the taking - and comfortable places to sit and relax. The second parking space featured artificial turf, cornhole, and giant Connect4 to entice people to play. WTS Student volunteers were on hand all day to answer questions about PARK(ing) Day and hand out snacks and cucumber water to all parklet visitors.
The students' hard work was rewarded when "Larimer's Living Room" parklet was voted "Best Community Parklet" by Park(ing) Day visitors.
In front of an enthusiastic and engaged gathering of local residents, UCDenver (CAP) MLA candidates Aneliya Bargon, Alena Gagnon and Ivy Steele, along with Sarah Goldblatt (Historic Preservation certificate), presented their final designs for a new community park in downtown ROCKVALE. There was also a plan for the preservation and re-imagining of the historic May Cabin which resides in the park. The project will now move toward grant applications with an eye toward a ribbon cutting next June! The meeting took place on July 31st at the Rockvale Community Center.
The historic Fox Theatre in Walsenburg needed help. Faced with declining ticket sales and a large building that was rarely used to even 10% of its capacity, the owners (Huerfano County) and the operator (Mike Peters on behalf of the Fox Theatre board of directors), turned to the resources and talents of DOLA’s UTA program with CCCD to transform this building into a bustling hub of arts and entertainment for the community.
Strategies were proposed to demonstrate how the building could accommodate a variety of desirable programming opportunities, including cinema, live performance, and food and drink, both within its existing footprint and an expanded one. The project team then created a series of High Definition virtual walkthroughs that enabled the community and project stakeholders to visually experience these proposals on the big screen.
Field Supervisor: Jeff Wood
CCCD Team: Taylor Carlisle (MArch), Fernanda Hobbs (MArch), Alena Gagnon (MLA), Sarah Goldblatt (MSHP), and Aneliya Bargon (MLA)
Local Collaborators: Carl Young, Economic and Tourism Development Director, Huerfano County; Mike Peters, Fox Theater Board of Directors
In July 2019, the Vinyl Siding Institute published 300 copies of Professor Korkut Onaran's book, Architectural Design for Traditional Neighborhoods, which "summarizes the most critical design lessons the authors have learned through many years of practice developing traditional neighborhoods."
The book was written by CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning's Assistant Professor Adjunct, Korkut Onaran, along with his colleagues Fernando Pagés Ruiz, Ronnie Pelusio, and Tom Lyon, and features a foreward by Andrés Duany and an afterword by Stephen A. Mouzon. The book is aimed at helping designers communicate the essential ideas of New Urbanism, while still adapted to the methods and materials best suited to the builders. This book is a useful addition to the New Urbanist literature because it introduces simple and economical design principles, discusses what to design guidelines to require by code and what to leave out of code. The book will help designers guide developers to invest in what will create the most value.
Click here to access the book online.
In March 2019, Urban and Regional Planning Associate Professor Andy Rumbach, and Gretel Follingstad (PhD candidate in Design & Planning) published a new article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. They studied 5 fast-growing towns and villages in the mountains of West Bengal, India with some pretty eye-opening findings. The full article, "Urban disasters beyond the city: Environmental risk in India’s fast-growing towns and villages" is available online here.
Liza Weinstein (Northeastern University)
Saumitra Sinha (University of North Carolina)
In February 2019, Urban and Regional Planning Associate Professor Andy Rumbach, along with colleagues at Northeastern University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, published a new article on urban development and coastal flooding in India in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. The full article, "Resilient Growth: Fantasy Plans and Unplanned Developments in India's Flood‐Prone Coastal Cities" is available online here.
In the face of rising seas and rapid growth, coastal cities in India have taken up the mantle of "resilience" in glossy climate action plans, high-profile international partnerships, and voluminous disaster management documents. And yet, while resilience has firmly entered the Indian city planning lexicon, environmentally destructive urban development continues largely unabated. What explains this seeming disconnect between the transformational goals of resilience planning and the everyday practices of
In this paper Rumbach and his colleagues examine the contradictions between global and national discourses of urban resilience planning and continuing patterns of destructive urban development, looking specifically at Kolkata and Mumbai, two of India's largest and most flood-affected cities. They argue that resilience planning, promoted by the central government and international consultants, and presented in locally produced "fantasy plans," fails to address the risks of flooding due to its tendency to sidestep questions of politics, power and the distributional conflicts that shape urban development. They conclude that analyses of governance and informality, and especially the politics of planned and unplanned development, should more directly inform studies of urban coastal flooding.
The paper is part of a symposium in IJURR on the future of urban political theory in light of hydrological crises in Asia. The symposium includes several terrific papers on the urban politics of coastal flooding.
In January 2019, Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in Transportation about the influence of gender on car use. Women spend more time driving in general, possibly as a result of having more home-serving tasks such as chauffeuring children, and miscellaneous errands. The full article, "I’ll have to drive there: How daily time constraints impact women’s car use differently than men’s" is available online here.
Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in March 2019 in Transport Policy about the influence of gender when choosing a method of transportation. Women often commute longer, and identify physical safety as a major factor when they are deciding how to reach their destination. The full article, "Operationalizing gendered transportation preferences: A psychological framework incorporating time constraints and risk aversion" is available online here.
Women commute longer; use NMT modes more, but private modes less, than men.
Women mention time constraints less often than men.
Physical safety during evening travel is high on women's minds.
Factors affecting transportation decision are gender socialized.
Gender-specific psychological loads can be enumerated to design gendered policies.
Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in March 2019 in Transportation Research about the potential use of social media during natural disasters to pinpoint the most devastated areas. The full article, "Harnessing the power of machine learning: Can Twitter data be useful in guiding resource allocation decisions during a natural disaster?" is available online here.
In January 2019, the WTS Colorado Student Chapter launched the Auraria Vision Zero project after receiving a grant from the City and County of Denver’s Vision Zero Community Program. The project, which is part of Denver’s larger effort to promote safer streets and eliminate traffic fatalities, will bring public art, signage, and new lighting to several key areas around Auraria campus to slow traffic speeds and raise awareness of the Vision Zero project. The seven project locations around campus – which include areas along Auraria Parkway as well as the intersection of Speer Boulevard and Larimer Street, were chosen to draw attention to areas that have been identified by people traveling in and around Auraria campus as posing a safety concern. Read more about the project below:
Vision Zero is the City and County of Denver’s program to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. In 2018 the City and County of Denver launched a the Vision Zero Community Program to provide community members an opportunity to design a project to increase awareness of Vision Zero and promote safer streets. WalkDenver is a pedestrian advocacy organization and is assisting groups to develop and administer projects. The WTS Colorado Student Chapter (WTS) applied for and was awarded funding through Vision Zero Community Program to implement a project on the Auraria campus. Click here for more information about Denver’s Vision Zero efforts and the Vision Zero Community Program.
WTS launched the Auraria Vision Zero project in January 2019. Since then, the WTS team has met four times as a group and three times with Auraria’s campus planners to coordinate planning. They have collected input from about fifty students through the administration of an on-campus survey and they have individually and collectively walked campus to observe areas of conflict between mode users and collect counts of incidences of interest (i.e. people walking, bicycling, using a wheelchair, running red lights and stop signs, etc. ). The collected data will be included with long-term recommendations in the final report to be completed in Summer 2019. WTS also tabled at the 2019 Earth Day fair to promote Vision Zero and collect additional input on long-term traffic safety improvements for the Auraria community.
The WTS team has developed three intervention themes to draw attention to seven areas of traffic safety concern for people traveling through and around the Auraria campus. The specific locations are outlined in the map on the following page. Below are brief descriptions of the three intervention themes.
WTS kicked off their first intervention on Saturday, May 4, when WTS members and other students met for a Silhouette Painting Party. During a sunny afternoon, they painted life-sized silhouettes of pedestrians in bright eye-catching colors. After painting, the silhouettes were installed at key locations around Auraria Campus with accompanying Vision Zero signage developed by WalkDenver. The art project was on display for nearly two weeks.
Location: Oak Creek, Colorado
The Oak Creek Recreation Master Plan establishes the Town of Oak Creek’s vision for its parks, trails, and recreation system. The plan, developed with input from community surveys and public meetings, exists as a tool for community members to prioritize and ensure that capital improvements in the Town of Oak Creek align with this vision. This plan will guide future in-depth development plans for parks, trails and recreation amenities for both residents and visitors in the Town of Oak Creek. When implemented, the improved range of outdoor recreation will foster increased physical activity among all ages, particularly for youth.
Project Team: Jeff Brunette - Master Landscape Architecture
Drew Parker - Master Urban & Regional Planning
Anthony Pozzuoli - Master Landscape Architecture, Master Business Administration
Vickie Berkley - Assistant Director for Civic Engagement
Local Participants:Mary Alice Page-Allen - Town Administrator/Clerk, Town of Oak Creek
Nikki Knoebel - Mayor of Oak Creek
Tom Holliday - Public Works Director, Oak Creek
Bar Parnell - Director, LiveWell Northwest Colorado
Town of Oak Creek Board of Trustees
The pocket park/urban park is located in the heart of Downtown Delta. It is centered on a primary commercial block of the downtown core. The park is .14 acres and will become available when the building at 327 Main Street is demolished. The existing building was determined a public safety hazard and as part of the grant language after demolition it was determined that the site should become a public space. Although the area is small, the frontage on Main Street is strong and easily accessible. The location is an asset to residents and visitors and aligns with the town’s comprehensive plan and recently updated Parks and Recreation master plan.
Design character and context were explored to help define the most appropriate program and amenities for the park. We took a resourceful and cohesive approach to the park design by integrating successful aspects of current design ideas around town. The new design will further identify and support what the needs are for a public space that the community will use. The objective wast to come up with new, more relevant ideas for the community and a design that encourages residents and visitors to use the park in all seasons. The result could offer a wide range of public uses while reinforcing the sense of place for the community and for the Downtown core.
Field Supervisor: Chris Endreson
CCCD Team Members: Gaelen Means, Kortney Harris, Tatum Moorer, Kevin Small
Local Collaborators: David Torgler, City Manager; Betsy Suerth, Public Works Director
DOLA Regional Manager: Kimberly Bullen
The Frederick Arts Commission was established in 2000 by the Board of Trustees to advise on the Art in Public Places Program. They advise on what art projects to pursue, where to place such art, and with which artists to commission these projects.
The art master plan proposes guidelines and principles to strengthen Frederick’s identity by reinforcing connectivity between neighborhoods, parks and community spaces. Thoughtful art placement in key trail and infrastructure systems, town gateways and neighborhood entryways, establishes the town’s cohesiveness and uniqueness as a creative community. In addition, the art master plan provides a framework for decision-making as the art commission and residents of Frederick address not only art placement, but also support for local artists.
Realizing the full potential of city-scale art integration can help ensure that Frederick maintains a strong cultural presence on a regional scale. Ultimately, the Frederick Art Master Plan will guide the placement of art in a way that both maintains Frederick’s existing values and sense of community, while continuing to strengthen its overall identity for years to come.
The City of Sterling, along with additional partners are hoping to redevelop a site in the historic central business district into a public plaza and public amenity. The site sits at an important intersection of Main and 4th Streets and acts as a gateway to the charming downtown. Formerly a gas station, the site now houses a two-bay garage and glass walled structure and is home to a local bike shop.
The City of Sterling selected the Colorado Center for Community Development to develop conceptual plans. The team began the project by collecting public input and performing site analysis to make sure that any solutions would be appropriate and supported by the public. Several design iterations, influenced by local Logan County inspiration, were created and presented again at a public meeting in Sterling. Feedback was incorporated and the best aspects of each design were combined to create a final design that is welcoming and functional. We hope this project will become a space that residents can be proud of and will help support the activity of the downtown core.
Field Supervisor: Jennifer Kovarik
CCCD Team Members: Kendrick Wyman (MLA), Chelsea Gieryic (MLA)
DOLA Regional Manager: Greg Etl
Local Collaborator: Don Saling, City Manager
The client for this project is a partnership between the City of Grand Junction, the Museums of Western Colorado (MWC), Western Colorado Center for the Arts (WCCA) and the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (GJSO). Their goal was to assess the potential feasibility and opportunity of developing an Arts and Culture campus on the existing MWC site in downtown Grand Junction. The partners asked for help in preliminary research and visioning of the programming and planning. The aim was to explore and identify what could work on the site and within the constraints that exist.
We developed options for redevelopment of the Museum of Western Colorado site and structures located in downtown Grand Junction between 4th and 5th streets. The project considered options of design and configuration and presented the feasibility and opportunity of creating a joint Art and Culture Campus for the current Museum of Western Colorado – Museums of the West, the Western Colorado Center for the Arts and the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra administration.
Field Supervisor: Chris Endreson
CCCD Team Members: Brittany Bona, Tomas Cooke
DOLA Regional Manager: Kimberly Bulla Local Collaborator: City of Grand Junction, Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Museum of Western Colorado, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra
The town of Kersey has a vision to create a vibrant town center along a primary stretch of 1st Street. One of the first projects which they hope to implement includes relocating the town hall and police facilities to the historic Kersey Co-Op Building located at 1st and Trumbull Streets. This adaptive re-imagining of an important landmark in the town will create an anchor to the central business district which has struggled in the past to maintain a cohesive identity and attract businesses and patrons.
Kersey is also seeking designs for a streetscape plan to enhance the pedestrian experience along 1st Street. Together, these projects will transform this struggling corridor into a hub for businesses and a place of pride for local residents. Our work included conceptual designs for both the town hall redesign at the former Co-Op Building and a streetscape plan for 1st Street along four blocks covering the stretch between Trumbull and Hill Streets. We also produced a report which explored new signage for the whole town of Kersey and provided a conceptual master plan for the current Memorial Park.
Field Supervisor: Jennifer Kovarik
CCCD Team: Claire Dalby, Diana Souders, Sofia Bruni, Zhinguang Hu, Dillon McBride, Kendrick Wyman
DOLA Regional Manager: Don Sandoval
Local Collaborator: Christian Morgan, Town Administrator; Jay Cochran, Community Development Director
The scope of work for the town of Hayden consisted of a variety of research all aiming to reinforce the “sense of place” already established by the town residents, history, economy, social and cultural dynamics, recreational activities and climate/ecological conditions.
The team sought to identify this “sense of place” through research, site visits, meetings with town officials, and impromptu discussions with town residents. Ultimately, the team proposed recommendations pertaining to: (1) The re-striping along Federal Highway 40 (Jefferson Ave.), including a lane shrinking strategy with improved bike lanes and crosswalks to slow traffic and appeal to pedestrian safety; (2) streetscape amenity placement and recommendations to enhance the vibrancy of the downtown core; (3) park “activation” strategies for two very different parks including designs and events possibilities; (4) sidewalk analysis and suggestions throughout the downtown core and the commercial/residential edges for better circulation, connectivity and safety (5) cost opinions, possible partnerships, and grant possibilities to implement the desired changes throughout Hayden. All of these points come with the goal to better empower the residents and town officials of Hayden, CO, with the language and tools needed to develop their unique “sense of place”.
The project team used a wide range of tools including, textual research, analysis, mapping strategies, cross-section/aerial/perspective drawings, diagrammatic analysis, critical discussions, field work, and community meetings.
Field Supervisor: Chris Endreson
CCCD Team: Brittany Bona, Thomas Cooke, Julia Dullen, Kortney Harris, Corban McElroy, Gaelen Means, Tatum Moorer, Nick Patin, Kevin Small
DOLA Regional Manager: Kimberly Bulla
Local Collaborator: Matt Mendisco, Town Manager
The town of Nucla requested design concepts for specific parts of downtown. Nucla is a Statutory Town with a population around 700 residents in Montrose County situated in the high desert of the counties west end and south of Grand Junction. Its history is rooted in ranching and mining. While coal mining is still operational, the outdoor recreation industry is on the rise.
This downtown improvement project included the following work: Define the use and circulation of main street and identify needs/gaps, propose programs for improvements, create a plan for a unified downtown main street design, determine the opportunity for community and pedestrian gathering space, present sustainability concepts for main street, explore architectural ideas for façade improvements, deliver preliminary assessment and programmatic documents to strengthen grant applications and other funding opportunities.
The project benefited greatly from the input and guidance provided by community members, local businesses and interested citizens through a series of public meetings. The community of Nucla wanted design concepts for a downtown that celebrate its character and history, is inviting to travelers and functional for residents. The final designs were influenced by the public's desire for unique details such as repurposed planters, brick with stucco front façades and structured awnings as well as street art.
Field Supervisor: Chris Endreson
CCCD Team: Brittany Bona, Thomas Cooke, Alex Martin, Julia Dullien, Kortney Harris, Tatum Moorer, Gaelen Means, Kevin Small, Nick Patin
DOLA Regional Manager: Kimberly Bulla
Local Collaborators: Sherri Farmer, Town Clerk; Paula Brown, Parks & Recreation Department
Located in the Greeley metro area in Weld County, Colorado, Keenesburg is a charming community with a rich history in farming, ranching, and railroads. The Keenesburg school was constructed in 1927 and educated the students of the community for 75 years. It expanded many times over the years with population growth, and in the 1950s additional buildings were placed around the original red brick structure to accommodate more students. The school was decommissioned in 2002 and has since fallen somewhat into disrepair, being used primarily for storage by the Weld Co. school district.
The objectives of this project was to evaluate how the historic school building could best be adapted for new uses. Community members prioritized the following goals: provide new gathering spaces, celebrate the character of the building through adaptive-reuse, and reinforce a sense of place and identity by revitalizing a historic structure. The full scope of the project included public engagement and feedback, site analysis, precedent studies, conceptual plans, preliminary and final designs.
The Ignite Evolution greenhouse is a modular structure, designed to be easily disassembled and transported. It was constructed by twenty-four students in just twelve days, and then installed in its permanent location at the Campus Village Apartments.