How We Plan

Making Denver a city that is livable for its people now and in the future is the overarching vision that guides all planning. Two guiding documents—Comprehensive Plan 2000 and Blueprint Denver—provide the framework principles and policies that help execute that vision. Whether creating plans on a small or citywide scale, our goal is always to achieve a balanced, multi-modal transportation system, land use that accommodates future growth, and open space throughout the city.  

Types of Plans

  • Citywide plans 
    Citywide planning incorporates community input and involves multiple city departments and initiatives. These plans establish goals for the future, analyze and improve internal processes, and provide policy guidance to achieve those goals. Past citywide planning efforts have yielded Comprehensive Plan 2000 and Blueprint Denver.
  • Small area plans 
    Small area plans address the issues of a specific area of the city. Station area plans are an example of small area plans that guide public and private development around transit stations.

  • General development plans 
    General development plans (GDPs) establish a framework for large or phased projects in mixed-use zone districts. The GDP process provides a conceptual plan for integrating land uses with infrastructure.  

    Planning Goals

    Diverse Neighborhoods

    Denver includes a diverse array of neighborhoods that range from historic districts marked by architecture styles dating back to Denver’s founding, to rows of modern shimmering glass high rises in highly urban settings, to quiet residential streets dotted with single-family homes with backyards and garages. This diversity helps ensure that people of any age, income or physical ability can find a place to call home in our city.  

    Learn more:

    • Comprehensive Plan 2000 outlines Denver’s vision for a future that meets our economic and environmental needs by providing an equitable city that engages its stakeholders.
    • Blueprint Denver maps areas of stability and areas of change in Denver’s neighborhoods.
    • Plans in progess and completed plans detail the framework for development in your neighborhood or commercial corridor.

    Mixed-Use Communities

    Mixed-usesAmerica’s first cities were built around walkable neighborhoods in which residential, retail and commercial uses all came together. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, these mixed-use urban centers gave way to more restricted development as single-use zoning became a more common planning tool. In Denver, our streetcar districts retain remnants of historic mixed-use development, and new infill projects and infrastructure investments—especially around transit stations—are helping to re-create communities where people can walk more frequently to their daily errands. 

    Learn more:

    • Blueprint Denver encourages and promotes the integration of land use and transportation to enhance the quality of life in our city.
    • Denver’s Transit Oriented Development Initiative leverages the public investment in transit to create new pedestrian-oriented communities.

    Multi-Modal Streeets

    Multi-modal streetsStreets are not just for cars anymore. They are also places for Denver’s residents to walk, bike and use public transit, and they provide a public realm for our city’s neighborhoods and business corridors. Multi-modal streets accommodate more trips by more people by improving transit and providing better pedestrian and bicycle facilities, so that people of any physical ability feel safe using any mode of travel. 

    Learn more:


    SustainabilityThe idea that our use of resources today should not impair the quality of life of future generations is a central goal of Comprehensive Plan 2000 and Blueprint Denver.  Additionally, Greenprint Denver was launched in 2005 to advance and further support the integration of environmental impact analysis into the city's programs and policies, alongside economic and social analysis.

    Learn more:

    • Denver’s vision for a future that meets our economic and environmental needs by providing an equitable city that engages its stakeholders is laid out in Comprehensive Plan 2000.
    • Blueprint Denver encourages and promotes the integration of land use and transportation to make our city more sustainable.
    • Denver’s Transit Oriented Development Initiative brings transit goals and development goals together to create more sustainable communities.
    • The Greenprint Denver Initiative tracks and reports on the city’s progress on sustainability goals.

    Public Outreach

    Community outreach is built into the planning process in several ways. City planners share information with the public and invite the public to share their ideas, questions and concerns at various stages of the process with the ultimate goal of engaging as many citizens as possible in an efficient, effective and timely manner.  Outreach may include:

    • Public meetings in the community
    • Public hearings at Denver Planning Board and Denver City Council
    • Meetings with public stakeholder groups or steering committees
    • Plan updates, meeting reminders and other key information posted on the city’s website and distributed via email