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The Outdoor Downtown

NEW! Read the final plan for The Outdoor Downtown now! (PDF)

Project Overview
Denver Parks & Recreation and the Downtown Denver Partnership are collaborating to create an innovative master plan for downtown Denver’s outdoor spaces.  The 20-year plan will focus on enhancing quality of life in the downtown area through investment in parks and public spaces.

These outdoor spaces will create a vibrant, sustainable downtown that supports a growing city and economy.

The master plan will serve as a supplement to the 2007 Downtown Area Plan and Denver Parks & Recreation Game Plan.

Through community input, stakeholder feedback and pilot programs, the plan asseses current and future land use and helps determine the department's priorities for:

  • recreational needs
  • programming & partnership opportunities
  • necessary policies
  • operations & management
  • financing future assets & acquisitions
  • implementation strategy

Why now?

This is a defining decade in the history and development of Downtown Denver. The city is experiencing unprecedented economic and population growth. Nearly 20,000 people call Downtown Denver home – a 279% increase since 2000. That number is expected to grow to more than 22,000 residents by 2020 according to the May 2016 State of Downtown report. In 2016, we saw the construction of 1.6 million square feet of new office space, with an additional 1.1 million square feet planned for development.

Traditionally, metropolitan areas have sought to meet a baseline standard of 10 acres of parks land for every 1,000 residents. Currently, Denver's downtown area has only 5.7 acres of park space per 1,000 residents, well below typical national standards and continually dropping as new development occurs.

Urban areas often struggle to meet this standard due to space constraints, steep costs for land acquisition and rising population growth. City planners are now focusing on access to quality space over quantity, with a goal of all residents living within 3 walking minutes to quality outdoor space and 5 walking minutes to a neighborhood park.

Off-Leash Dog Area @ Speer Blvd. Park

This pop-up is a temporary pilot to see how this space works as a hangout for you and your pup!

Download the flyer (PDF)

Free Weekly Activities at Commons Park Feedback Survey:

The free weekly activities at Commons Park have come to an end for the 2017 season. Whether you participated in these activities or just have thoughts on what was offered, this survey is for you! Let us know what you thought by taking our survey hereThis survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete and will help decide which activities might be available in the future. We look forward to your feedback!

Public outreach began in 2014 and continued through early 2016. Park planners and other city staff attended many public events such as Meet in the Streets, Civic Center EATS, and other festivals in the downtown area. 

Meet in the Streets Gehl report

Roundtable Discussion: November 17, 2014
Key themes

Public Meeting 1: December 9, 2014
145 participants
presentation | summary | boards | existing spaces

Public Meeting 2: October 13, 2015
117 participants
presentation

Public Meeting 3: January 26, 2016
85 participants
presentation

 

 
News & Events

Final master plan now available!

Mayor Michael B. Hancock, City Officials, Downtown Denver Partnership and Community Partners Celebrate The Outdoor Downtown Plan

Read the plan now: download the PDF

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Off-Leash Dog Area @ Speer Blvd. Park

This pop-up is a temporary pilot to see how this space works as a hangout for you and your pup!

Download the flyer (PDF)

Contact Us

Tell us what you think

Feedback Survey: Free Weekly Activities at Commons Park 

Whether you participated or just have thoughts on what was offered, we want to hear from you! This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete and will help decide which activities might be available in the future. Take the survey now!