Infrastructure and Open Space Go Hand-in-Hand in Denver

The City of Denver is taking a holistic, open-space-preservation approach to its pedestrian and bike infrastructure planning. A nationally-recognized bike share program, well-connected bike lanes, and urban trails lined with parks are improving accessibility and connectivity for Denver’s diverse residents.


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When it launched with in 2010 with 400 bikes, Denver’s B-Cycle was the most comprehensive bike share program in the nation. It was also the nation’s first fully automated program, and became a model for other cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis. As districts like Union Station and LoDo have been revitalized, the program has continued to grow, recently capping at 700 bikes. It is popular among tourists and the city’s young, active populations.

To capitalize on Denver’s growing pedestrian and bike culture, the city has invested in the development of miles of bike lanes and urban trails. This infrastructure now links some of city’s poorest neighborhoods and formally fragmented areas directly to Denver’s abundant natural beauty.

The Cherry Creek recreational trail runs 24.6 miles from its convergence with the the South Platte River in Confluence Park, right to the heart of downtown Denver. Billed as the world’s first urban whitewater park, Confluence was developed in response to major pollution and flooding issues Denver faced throughout the 20th century. Multiple parks, such as Speer Blvd and Centennial, line the river and trail, providing ample open space for Denver’s diverse residents.

Denver’s connection between urban infrastructure and open space preservation and planning has paid off – research has shown that Denver has seen more than $10 billion in return on the $100 million it invested into environmental and recreational improvements along the South Platte River. Most importantly, the bike share, pedestrian infrastructure and open space planning have signaled a people-centric pivot in the way cities are designed.


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