Neighborhood Planning

Map of Denver showing NPI planning areas

Denver's Neighborhood Planning Initiative is a long-term commitment to ensure every corner of the city can enjoy the benefits of an area plan. Since its launch in 2017, residents, neighborhood groups, and community leaders have been working alongside city planners to create a vision and plan for their areas.

What do Neighborhood and Area Plans do?

  • They bring communities together to identify a vision for an area and provide recommendations on how to achieve that vision. 
  • They provide a level of analysis, detail, and guidance on issues affecting local areas that citywide plans cannot. They help implement citywide plans at a local level.

The Neighborhood Planning Initiative has three core values: intentional, equitable, and measurable. These values guided the development of the Initiative's strategic plan, which describes the general framework for each neighborhood planning process. The strategic plan was revised in 2023 as part of a months-long program evaluation with the goal of improving the planning process and outcomes based on lessons learned from the first two rounds of plans. The updated plan will be posted soon.

Neighborhood Planning Initiative Strategic Plan (PDF, 4MB)

Learn about the Neighborhood Planning Initiative

Planning Areas and Phases

In an effort to provide area plans for the entire city as efficiently as possible, planning areas under the Neighborhood Planning Initiative encompass several statistical neighborhoods.

The order of new plans is determined by numerous factors including planning need, opportunities to draw on additional resources and grant funding, input from elected officials and community leaders, and efforts to maximize staff and other resources. As one phase is completed, the remaining areas of the city are re-evaluated relative to the considerations influencing planning need before the next phase is announced.

NPI phasing map

Phase I - Completed

Phase II - In Progress

Phase III - Coming Soon

  • Southwest
  • Far Southwest
  • Central 

The Planning Process

The Neighborhood Planning Initiative provides a model for area planning that is intentional, equitable and measurable. The planning process is guided by a multi-pronged outreach and communications strategy. The content and scope for all plans will include the topics covered in Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver. The process will also focus on implementation, with all plans using metrics from Blueprint Denver to track progress.

This approach will provide ample flexibility to allow plans to be customized to meet the needs of different neighborhoods, while at the same time providing consistency to ensure an efficient and equitable process across different plans. 

Phases in the Planning Process

The phases in the planning process are understanding the area and drafting the vision and recommendations, refining the recommendations, a community review of the draft plan, and the adoption phase.

NPI Process Graphic

Small Area Planning

Small area plans differ from neighborhood plans in that they cover a smaller, specific geography where redevelopment is likely but there is no neighborhood-level policy guidance in place informed by the community's input. These areas usually involve a large parcel with a single land owner and represent the potential for a major transformation. A small area plan ensures that as redevelopment moves forward, the community's priorities are identified and addressed.

Criteria for small area planning

  • Prompted by the large development review process
  • Significant change is occurring or anticipated
  • Public facilities and/or physical improvements need to be addressed
  • Opportunities for substantial infill or redevelopment are present
  • Opportunities arise to influence site selection, development or major expansion of a single large activity generator

Criteria that more specifically address the goals of Blueprint Denver:

  • Creating opportunity for appropriate development in areas of change
  • Stabilizing conditions that threaten areas of stability
  • Promoting public investment that increase transportation choice

Completed Projects and Implementation 

The final phase of every planning process takes place after official adoption, when the work to implement the community's vision takes place. The city tracks implementation through metrics and standards set during the planning process.

  • Visit the webpages below to follow implementation of several recent plans.
  • Visit the Completed Plans page for all adopted plans.