March 2, 2016

The Downtown Denver Partnership joins Mayor Michael B. Hancock and
the Regional Transportation District in announcing big plans for the 16th
Street Mall this summer.

The Mall and its cross-streets will feature interactive pop-up events,
community-led activities and temporary mobility alternatives when Meet in
the Street, funded by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement
District, returns for five consecutive weekends this summer, beginning June

The public is invited to participate in the city’s efforts to reimagine the
downtown experience through such features as expanded patio seating,
temporary design installations, food gatherings and dance classes.

These are just some of the “placemaking” projects expected to be offered
to bring more people and activity to the 16th Street Mall area.

“The 16th Street Mall is Downtown’s main street,” Mayor Hancock said.
“This summer, we’re inviting you to come and experience some of the ways
we are elevating our Downtown Mall.”

Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership,
said, “The expansion of Meet in the Street, now in its third year, to include
both weekend days will allow us to continue to refine important elements of
the 16th Street Mall to ensure it remains a thriving public space.”

The activation events will be guided by recommendations within a new
report by Gehl Studio.

The City and County of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership
have been working with Gehl Studio, a global leader in people-centered
urban design, since 2014 with the goal of bringing more people to the Mall
more often and having them stay longer.

Gehl Studio’s report and recommendations are based in part on its analysis
of the most successful aspects of the Meet in the Street activation events
along the 16th Street Mall on five Sundays last year. Additional analysis of
this summer’s expanded Meet in the Street — which will take place on both
Saturdays and Sundays and will include urban design alternatives and
community-led programming — will help the city hone in on long term
changes to the Mall and adjacent sites.

“The Mall Experience study is helping us understand more about how the
Mall’s physical features and activities affect experiences,” said Brad
Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and
Development. “The Mall is a very successful transit corridor, but now we
want to ask more of the Mall.”

Gehl’s Report
Gehl’s analysis is central to The Mall Experience: The Future of Denver’s
16th Street Mall, a study by the City and County of Denver and the
Downtown Denver Partnership to identify ways to help the Mall reach its full
potential as a welcoming place in the heart of downtown.

Gehl found increased diversity of Mall users and of user experiences during
the five 2015 Meet in the Street Sundays, including:

  • 30 percent more pedestrians overall on the 16th Street Mall
  • Number of people engaged in “staying” activities increased by as much
    as 60 percent
  • More women and children on the Mall: The ratio of women to men increased by 65 percent; ratio of children to adults increased by 77 percent
  • 90 percent of businesses indicated sales seemed about the same or better as compared to non-Meet in the Street Sundays
  • Ratio of people “spending time” to people “moving through” increased by 48 percent

Gehl’s baseline analysis of normal weekdays showed that only 1 percent of
Mall users “linger,” while most are simply passing through. Gehl’s report
recommends short, medium and long term “placemaking” projects that can
activate the 16th Street Mall and other adjacent sites to help the Mall
become more of a place that people go to as well as go through.

The RTD Board approved moving the Free MallRide service to 15th and
17th Streets during Meet in the Street to accommodate activation activity.
Additional details about Meet in the Street and other summer activation
programs will be released later this spring.

Learn more at Denvergov.org/themallexperience.