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Neighborhood Planning Areas

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Planning Areas & 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 plans are rolled out in is determined by numerous factors including planning need (as measured by various metrics), opportunities to draw on additional resources and timely grant opportunities, 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 will be re-evaluated relative to the considerations influencing planning need and the next phase will be announced.


Map showing planning areas listed at right


Read about the neighborhood planning areas at the links below.

Phase I - Completed

Phase II 

Later Phases


How were planning areas created?

Neighborhoods were analyzed and then grouped together after carefully considering the following elements:

  • Shared histories, issues, and aspirations 
  • Built environment and natural features 
  • Planning need 
  • Character, context, and development patterns 
  • Major destinations (institutions, amenities, shopping districts) ▪ Common infrastructure (major roads, drainage) 
  • Geographic size and population 
  • Councilmember and public input 
  • Avoiding splitting Neighborhood Statistical Areas into different planning areas to maintain ability to track data and trends over time

How were planning areas were prioritized?

An analysis of neighborhood indicators (see map below) was among the factors that helped determine which areas of the city should be prioritized for plans. Several other factors were also considered:

  • Previous Planning: Prioritize groupings where most neighborhoods have either outdated plans or no plan. 
  • Impact: Prioritize groupings where change is already taking place, and/or where new planning will have the most impact. 
  • Funding: Prioritize areas that already have funding or grants in place for small area planning. 
  • Efficiency: Where possible, ensure the efficient use of city resources by combining forces with other concurrent/related planning efforts. 
  • Geographic Equity: Conduct plans in different parts of the city as part of each phase.

Far Northeast: Gateway/Green Valley Ranch and Montbello have relatively high indicators scores. These areas also have outdated plans and lack access to goods and services.

East Central and East: North Capitol Hill and City Park West have relatively high indicators scores. An Urban Center planning grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments is eligible to be spent here beginning in 2017. There are also efficiencies extending from transit oriented development planning taking place as part of the Colfax Corridor Connections project (Federal Transit Administration grant). 

Near Southeast: Goldsmith and Indian Creek have relatively high indicators scores. All neighborhoods in this grouping have either no plan or outdated plans. Opportunity to establish a unifying vision for the Evans Ave. corridor.

West: Valverde, Villa Park, West Colfax, and Sun Valley have relatively high indicators scores. Change is occurring, and most neighborhoods in this grouping have outdated plans. Opportunity to apply knowledge gained from East Central and East planning processes to the W. Colfax corridor and the W light rail line.

Near Northwest: High indicators scores and rate of change in Jefferson Park and Highland. Most neighborhoods in this grouping have either no plan or outdated plans.


What can your neighborhood do while waiting for its NPI Plan?

The planning area pages provide a guided list of activities to conduct while neighborhoods are waiting for a planning process to kickoff. Activities that residents can undertake prior to plan kickoff include:

  • Organize: Participate in local neighborhood organizations and encourage neighbors to do the same. Put items on meeting agendas related to the upcoming neighborhood plan. Organize meetings for the larger community to talk about planning-related issues.
  • Listening Sessions: Discuss what people love about their neighborhood, and what they want to change.
  • SWOT Analysis: Document the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that are present in your neighborhood.
  • Visual Documentation: Conduct a photo inventory of existing conditions.  Pair these photos with the issues, opportunities, etc. that were identified in the Listening Sessions and SWOT analysis.

Neighborhood Planning Need

Map showing neighborhood planning need by statistical neighborhood


Indicators of Planning Need

To help inform the NPI Strategic Plan, the city developed data-based indicators of planning need at the neighborhood scale. These indicators help to establish which neighborhoods within the city have the greatest need for a plan, relative to all of the other neighborhoods. This information is being used to inform which neighborhoods are grouped together, and which groupings should be prioritized in the NPI work plan to develop a plan sooner rather than later. These indicators are one tool for evaluating which neighborhoods have the greatest planning need, but other considerations must also be taken into account to determine plan sequencing, as described above.

In later phases of NPI, it is anticipated that many of the indicators may be re-purposed, or new ones may be added, to measure neighborhood progress over time and to track progress toward achieving specific plan goals.

For detailed descriptions of the indicators, see the table below.

Image of legend for planning need map


Parks and Open Space

Measures the percentage of households within 1/4-mile walk of a park or open space. Lack of access indicates greater need for a plan.


Measures average block size. Larger block size equates to fewer intersections and lower connectivity and routing options. Larger block sizes indicate greater need for a plan.

Denver Neighborhood Equity  Index

Incorporates a series of socioeconomic, health and built environment indicators to measure access to opportunity. Lower scoresindicate greater need for a plan.



Measures percentage of assessed land with a greater value than its improvements. Underutilized land is more susceptible to redevelopment. Higher amount of underutilized land indicates greater need for a plan.

Permit Activity

Measures change in the number of permits per acre. Higher permitting activity indicates greater need for a plan.

Sales Tax

Measures the change in sales tax collected as an indicator of business activity and trends. More change (increase or decrease) indicates greater need for a plan.


New vs. Old Zoning

Measures the amount of land remaining in the old zoning code. More land in the old code indicates greater need for a plan.

Area of Change

Measures the percentage of land identified in Blueprint Denver 2002 as an area of change. More area of change indicated greater need for a plan. (Note: Since the initial planning need analysis was done, Blueprint Denver was updated and the "area of change" designation is no longer used.)

LU/Zoning Mismatch

Measures the amount of land identified in Blueprint Denver as residential that does not have residential zoning. More misalignment indicates greater need for a plan.


Cost Burden

Measures the percentage of cost burdened households (housing costs greater than 30% of income). More cost burdened households indicated greater planning need.

Median Income

Measures change in median income over a ten year period. More change (increase or decrease) indicates greater need for a plan


Measures the percentage of households in poverty. Higher poverty levels indicates greater planning need.



Measures change in the number of households over a ten year period. More change (increase or decrease) indicates greater need for a plan.


Measures change in population over a ten year period. More change (increase or decrease) indicates greater need for a plan.


Measures change in employment. More change (increase or decrease) indicates greater need for a plan.