Denver Moves to Hire Head of Urban Design
Published on July 20, 2021
DENVER – As Denver’s recovery moves forward, the city’s Department of Community Planning and Development is looking to elevate the role of urban design in preparing Denver for the future while preserving our historic buildings and staying true to Denver’s heritage. The department will hire a City Urban Designer to lead and champion this effort. This individual will bring a new level of attention to the quality of urban design and architecture across Denver and will work collaboratively with policymakers, Denver residents, and the development industry to create public spaces and neighborhoods that, by design, promote inclusivity, resiliency to climate change, and improve public health and well-being.
“We worked with the community to create and adopt the Blueprint Denver land use and transportation plan in 2019, and one of their clear priorities was urban design quality,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “This position will add the capacity and expertise needed to begin implementing these recommendations for the benefit of our unique neighborhoods and all Denver residents.”
Blueprint Denver and the city’s Comprehensive Plan 2040 were adopted in 2019. Thousands of residents participated in crafting these plans, which envision a city that is inclusive, connected and healthy, that values complete neighborhoods with great urban design, and where our historic and culturally significant architecture and places are celebrated and retained. A summary of the community’s recommendations for design quality in Denver can be found on pages 94 – 105 of Blueprint Denver.
“We’re looking for the right person who understands how sustainability and affordability goals can align with design excellence,” said Laura E. Aldrete, executive director of Community Planning and Development. “Since the days of Mayors Speer and Peña, Denver has answered the needs of a growing capital city with innovative design, which we continue to do now with the challenges of this century and our community’s values in mind.”
This position will emphasize design excellence across Denver, from how it feels to walk down the street in your neighborhood to large-scale transformative projects. The City Urban Designer will be responsible for advancing urban design in a way that is equitable and sustainable, focusing on the areas of greatest need and designing a city that is accessible for all.
Interested applicants should apply here.
The City Urban Designer is a newly created position that has a higher HR classification, span of control, and leadership focus than current or previous urban design professionals within the department. It was designed to allow someone to focus exclusively on urban design. While the city has in the past and continues to employ planning managers and directors with urban design skillsets, this is the first position at this level to focus exclusively on urban design.