Up this week, we have three policy highlights that draw our attention to local and regional news that links real estate development, community improvement, and community engagement.  The shared space movement in Metro Denver intersects with each of these “Bits” in several ways.  Check it out!

Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week

Oct 19 – 25, 2015 ~ Karly Malpiede Andrus


I.   Our Regional Transit District Needs to raise Its Game on Transit Oriented DevelopmentPolicy Bits101915

  1. RTD commissioned a third party to conduct internal and external stakeholder meetings to evaluate RTD’s current TOD protocol, specifically how they can be more efficient in their response to private developers, unsolicited proposals and how they can comingle TOD with some very different competing priorities. The report to RTD’s Board can be found http://goo.gl/cybCya. Some on the Board feel this oversteps the bounds of RTD’s enabling legislation. http://goo.gl/4QxvKu
  2. This report points to significant opportunities for RTD to become a more active player in creating truly vibrant communities along transit. This affects many of our local development partners and areas of focus for Metro Denver.  It’s relevant to the broader shared space movement in that it could open the door to development of community benefit commercial real estate.  “Complete communities” require a range of businesses, nonprofits, and other uses – and shared spaces are a great strategy for bringing in these uses.  RTD can have a role in creating transit oriented communities and would benefit from equitable TOD that ensures complete communities.

II.   Support ReVision’s Westwood Food Cooperative Kickstarter Campaign

  1. They plan to launch the Westwood Food Co-op in 2016 by transforming a warehouse and junkyard along Morrison Road into the first community owned grocery store. With a goal of raising $50,000 by October 28, the time to lend support is now! https://goo.gl/oHlld4
  2. Our partner the Urban Land Conservancy has worked extensively in Westwood. ULC owns the old Thriftway site along Morrison Road because they believe in the power of community-led transformations.  Further, this clearly shows how important real estate can be for community benefit. Re:Vision is creating a campus that integrates and is guided by the community.

III.  West Colfax BID’s Art In Transit Awarded Governor’s Award for Best Use of Public Space

  1. The West Colfax Business Improvement District (WCBID) Art In Transit project won the Governor’s Award for Best Use of Public Space last week in Durango. With artist designed bus shelters and wayfinding signs they are enhancing the experience of the corridor for all travelers. More project details are available at http://westcolfaxbid.org/
  2. The West Colfax Corridor continues to generate significant development interest, both in the for-profit, nonprofit, and public sectors. This award highlights some of the efforts to ensure that exterior spaces are welcoming and inclusive, and keep up with the pace of building development.