CityRise: Transforming Business Leaders Into City Builders

CityRise educates and empowers civic leaders by providing a platform of programming that focuses on relationship building, professional development and awareness of key issues impacting Downtown Denver. The Downtown Denver Leadership Program is now part of CityRise. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming CityRise programs, events, and engagement opportunities.

About the Program

The Downtown Denver Partnership’s Downtown Denver Leadership Program develops Downtown Denver’s future leaders, educates participants about the economic importance of Downtown Denver, informs participants about the unique leadership opportunities and challenges that exist in a Downtown environment, and engages participants in creating the Downtown Denver of the future.

About the Participants

The 80 participants selected for the Downtown Denver Leadership Program represent a cross-section of metro area employees and public, private and non-profit employers, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the community, a passion for Downtown Denver, as well as interest in building their leadership skills in both their professional and personal lives.


The 2021 DDLP Class will be taking advantage of the virtual classroom and adding national speakers, while significantly increasing the number of small group learning and development opportunities. Email Aylene McCallum at to be notified as soon as the application period opens and more information is released. See the 2020 application packet here.

The 2020 class project:
Building Connections Through Play

Playgrounds can bring out the child in all of us, but all “playgrounds” don’t have to be just for children.  How can building a city of fun, approachable and inviting experiences bring our community together and improve our city’s livability?  This year’s Leadership Program class project built upon the inspiration of the Partnership’s recent Urban Exploration trip to Copenhagen where trip participants discovered that innovation, inclusion and economic vitality can also be fostered through experiencing public spaces together. 

Leadership Program participants built connections with a diverse array of Downtown Denver stakeholders – from students to property owners – to create a set of inspiring and impactful encounters that will give all of us a new way to experience Downtown Denver. See the class project here.

Past Class Projects

2020 | Building Connections Through Play
2019 | The Greening of Downtown Denver
2018 | Civic Center Station: Convergence of Mobility, Development & Placemaking
2017 | The 5280 Trail: Linking Neighborhoods, Connecting People
2016 | The 16th Street Mall: A Space in Transition
2015 | Creating a 24/7 City – Growing Downtown’s Residential Population
2014 | Tactical Urbanism – Transforming Spaces into Places
2013 | Engaging the Next Generation of City Builders
2012 | The Downtown Area Plan – Five Years Later
2011 | Work Well, Live Well: Making Downtown Denver the Healthiest Workplace in America
2010 | We Create Denver: Positioning Denver as the Creative Capital of the Rocky Mountain West
2009 | The Space Between the Buildings: Activating Downtown’s Open Spaces
2008 | Putting Our Best Foot Forward: Enhancing Downtown’s Pedestrian Environment
2007 | Mission Possible: Greener Denver Businesses
2006 | You Can Get There From Here! Solving Connectivity Issues Between Auraria & Downtown Denver
2005 | Recruiting and Retaining the Best for DPS