CityLead: Urban Exploration

CityLead is offered exclusively to Downtown Denver Partnership members who are looking to make a meaningful impact on the economic vitality of Downtown Denver and the Center City. Current CityLead programs include Urban Exploration and the Downtown Denver Awards Jury Experience Stay tuned for more information on upcoming CityLead programs, events, and engagement opportunities.

It takes leadership and vision to rally a community, identify opportunities, face challenges, and solve problems. And, in order to create change we know we must be open and willing to learn from each other — that’s why we created the Urban Exploration program. 

Since 2008, we’ve been bringing together the public and private sectors. City leaders and business leaders. People from our downtown and people from theirs. We believe that the only way to continue building and growing Downtown Denver is to learn from people who are facing the same challenges we are in their respective cities. Who have already solved ‘that’ problem. Who can guide us in our pursuit to build an economically vibrant, healthy, and growing center city. 

Using the 2007 Downtown Area Plan to guide the itinerary and foundation of each trip — we focus on real issues that are facing our city; infrastructure, economic development, transit and transportation and public-private partnerships. The result is real inspiration leading to action as we build a great city.

2022 Urban Exploration Trip Details

June 12 – 15, 2022

The Downtown Denver Partnership will lead approximately 150 Downtown Denver business leaders, elected officials and key City staff members on its 14th annual Urban Exploration trip to Mexico City in 2022The city embodies the authentic public life in the streets that Downtown Denver aspires to, with innovative retail, makers, collaborative space, and artistic and cultural uses that provide inspiration for socialization and shared experiences. With over 22% of metro-Denver of Latino descent and a quick connection in a 3.5 direct flight from Denver, studying Mexico City creates tremendous opportunity for future collaboration, offers the opportunity to reframe Denver’s conversation about inclusivity, and allows the Urban Exploration program attendees to play a proactive role in cultural education.

The 2022 Urban Exploration trip will continue to provide an opportunity for community leaders to network and immerse themselves in an educational setting where they will learn about city building principles from civic leaders.

The Urban Exploration 2022 application process opens on January 10th and closes on January 28th. Downtown Denver Partnership members in good standing and business leaders involved in projects related to the implementation of the Downtown Area Plan are strongly encouraged to apply to attend. Accepted participants will be notified by February 11, 2022

Questions? Itinerary Overview


Limited sponsorship opportunities remain available.  Please connect with Aylene McCallum at for sponsorship inquiries.

Previously Explored Cities:

2019 – Copenhagen
2018 – Los Angeles
2017 – Portland
2016 – Downtown Brooklyn
2015 – San Francisco
2014 – Seattle

2013 – Toronto
2012 – Chicago
2011 – Philadelphia
2010 – Vancouver
2009 – Washington, D.C.
2008 – Portland

Lessons from one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities

Piep and Jack, on the Bicycle Colorado our policy team and attendees of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Denver Urban Exploration trip, spent June 11-14 in one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities—Copenhagen. Read their reflections of how Copenhagen made conscious, thoughtful decisions to create one of the world’s most livable cities.

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Urban Exploration Reflections