Building an Economically Powerful Center City

The 2007 Downtown Area Plan is the guiding vision for a livable, healthy, economically vibrant and exciting Downtown Denver.

In 2007, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the City and County of Denver, with funding support from the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District and numerous other public and private entities, convened the community to develop a bold vision to achieve a vibrant, economically healthy, growing and vital center city. With this 20-year vision as our guide, an unparalleled bias for action, and vision set firmly on building an economically powerful center city, we have seen incredible progress in our dedicated and sustained efforts to realize each of the plan’s vision elements.

Vision Elements  

To achieve a vibrant, economically healthy, growing and vital downtown, Denver must be committed to a sustained effort in each of the five elements established in the plan: Prosperous, Walkable, Diverse, Distinctive and Green. The strategies and projects contained in each category are critical for Downtown Denver to remain the region’s economic, cultural and recreational capital.

  1. A prosperous city– attracting jobs, growth and investment
  2. A walkable city – putting pedestrians first 
  3. A diverse city– being a socially and economically inclusive place
  4. A distinctive city– cultivating a mosaic of urban districts
  5. A green city– building a greener Denver

The Vision for Downtown Denver

2018 Mid-Point Reflection

At the ten-year anniversary of the plan, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the City and County of Denver marked the mid-point of the Downtown Area Plan’s 20-year intended life to celebrate key achievements, individuals, and groups that have contributed toward realizing the community’s vision.

Through the recently completed Mid-Point Reflection process, the Partnership and CCD have documented key accomplishments, identified the most influential trends, and reiterated the highest priorities for continued implementation of the strategies and projects associated with each of the five major vision elements.

Using this inclusive and strategic community engagement process that reexamined the values laid out in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan, Downtown Denver is using this opportunity to respond to emerging trends in the social, economic, environmental and political landscapes of downtowns. This process continues to provide the guidance to pursue unforeseen opportunities and new challenges that have arisen and will continue to unfold.

View the Midpoint Reflection Document. 

Seven Transformative Projects 

Within the five vision elements are nineteen strategies and projects, including seven transformative projects highlighted for extra emphasis. While all nineteen strategy elements are essential to achieving the plan’s vision, seven of them are critical. Without early concentrated effort in these areas, the other elements of the plan will not be as successful. These seven transformative strategies and projects include:

  1. Energizing the commercial core– Enhance the pedestrian and transit experience in the commercial core to bolster economic development opportunities.
  2. Building on transit– Couple the regional transit network with an equally ambitious local system that provides quick and efficient connections.
  3. Creating grand boulevards– Transform our major thoroughfares into celebrated, multi-modal boulevards as a compliment to Denver’s parkway system.
  4. Embracing adjacent neighborhoods– Link center city neighborhoods together and more closely with the downtown core.
  5. Connecting Auraria– Foster expanded physical and programmatic connections between the Auraria Campus and the rest of downtown.
  6. Downtown’s new neighborhood Arapahoe Square– Redevelop Arapahoe Square as a cutting-edge, densely populated, mixed-use area and center of innovative business.
  7. A rejuvenated Civic Center– Restore and reactivate Civic Center to attract more visitors, residents, workers and students to the park.