Development around rail stations is part of Denver striving to become a world-class city where everyone can be part of the community. Denver is taking a system-wide approach to implement not just transit oriented development (TOD), but also transit communities for all of Denver’s citizens.
Denver’s TOD Strategic Plan provides a foundation to guide public and private investment at rail stations through:
Creating an implementation action plan through research and analysis of the existing state of transit-oriented development,
Providing city-wide, high-level policy recommendations and on the ground, station-level action items with the intent to foster implementation of TOD at rail stations
Establishing a system to track and monitor Denver’s success so the city can continue to refine and improve its strategic moves in the future.
As a strategic plan, the document is intended to facilitate the implementation of existing recommendations and projects identified in adopted city plans, including Comprehensive Plan 2000, Blueprint Denver, neighborhood plans, and station area plans.
A strategic approach to implementing TOD in Denver includes short and long-term actions that span multiple City departments. In order to catalyze development at the stations with the best opportunities for development in the next 6 years, the City needs to identify City-wide TOD policies and specific action recommendations at the department level, finding realistic financing strategies to fund necessary planning, infrastructure, and marketing activities. This page identifies recommendations that cut across the TOD implementing agencies and require a coordinated effort to implement city-led investments that remove barriers to station area development.
See recommendation topics below, listed by city agency. For complete recommendation, see TOD Strategic Plan (PDF).
The following recommendations relate to how the City coordinates efforts to implement TOD across multiple departments and offices.
Transit-oriented development is at the heart of numerous planning efforts developed by the Community Planning and Development Department; beginning with Comprehensive Plan 2000 and Blueprint Denver and continuing with dozens of neighborhood, station area, and general development plans since those plans were adopted in the early 2000’s. Looking more holistically at how TOD improves the walkable nature of the City and fosters residents and employees ability to move about the community to access their daily needs is an on-going focus of the department.
The Public Works Department is involved with the planning and implementation of TOD at multiple levels, including, but not limited to: addressing multi-modal connectivity, managing stormwater runoff, developing and applying parking management strategies, and enforcing right-of-way utilization. As an implementing agency, the department must manage multiple, sometimes conflicting demands on city resources. Public Works has identified two major topics relating to station area development that require additional strategies as the City strives to remove barriers and implement TOD.
Developing financing strategies is a critical step in implementing TOD in Denver. The Department of Finance will take a leading role in working with the other departments to identify strategies to fund TOD investments. The following are recommendations for financing investments at the stations with the greatest opportunity for TOD development in the next six years.
The Office of Economic Development (OED) has made transit-oriented development a priority for the city. The office’s strategic planning effort, JumpStart, has included multiple recommendations that both apply broadly and specifically towards development at rail stations and enhanced transit corridors. As OED continues to update their strategic plan for economic development in Denver, the office will evaluate and recommend strategies that promote transit-oriented development. JumpStart 2014 has multiple TOD-applicable strategies categorized into four areas, Business Recruitment, Housing and Neighborhood Development, Strategic Lending, and Key Strategic Projects.
5.1 Business recruitment strategies for TOD areas, Time frame: on-going
5.2 Housing and neighborhood development strategies for TOD areas, Time frame: on-going
5.3 Strategic Lending Tools for TOD areas, Time frame: on-going
5.4 Key strategic projects that impact TOD, Time frame: on-going
Transit Communities and development around Denver’s rail stations have some of the highest population densities and intensities of uses in the region. Easy physical and visual access to public spaces encourages use and promotes safety. In turn, activating public open spaces in transit communities helps make TOD areas become a focus point and destination for the community. The Denver Parks and Recreation Department establishes a framework for providing the right types and mix of parks and open space in TOD knowing that access to open space is critical to maintaining a high quality of life for Denver’s citizens.