Aug 24, 2017
DENVER — After a successful summer that saw more than 15,000 visitors come to the Square on 21st, a pop-up park between Larimer and Lawrence Streets, traffic will return to the downtown block this weekend. The park, a collaboration between the City and County of Denver and the Downtown Denver Partnership, showcased how underused public right-of-way can be activated and transformed, and it provided a park-like public space in a neighborhood that lacks these types of spaces.
City planners will now begin to analyze the data collected over the two months the park was open to better understand what worked and what didn’t, and will compile a report in the coming weeks.
According to a survey of nearly 600 visitors to the Square, most came to relax and hang out, while others simply discovered it while walking downtown. Although most who visited the park live or work downtown, many others hail from all over the Denver metro area.
What did visitors love about the Square? A sampling of survey responses:
This project emerged from and was driven by the community’s vision during the neighborhood planning process. Denver Community Planning and Development, Denver Parks and Recreation and the Downtown Denver Partnership worked alongside residents and business owners to reimagine the 1-block stretch. Locals and visitors alike got a chance to see what can happen when the community thinks creatively about streets and public spaces.
The city and its partners will continue to work toward the implementation of the 21st Street Urban Design Plan, which calls for a “signature” street along 21st, and will work to address the “park desert” in the Ballpark and Arapahoe Square neighborhoods identified by The Outdoor Downtown plan. Further, with the city’s support, the Downtown Denver Partnership is leading efforts to create the 5280 Loop, a proposed 5-mile urban trail encircling downtown (and passing through this 21st Street site). The 5280 Loop has the potential to connect neighborhoods in a way that prioritizes people, health, culture and nature.
Learn more about the Square on 21st at www.denvergov.org/thesquareon21st.
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