A Colorado 100 Year Plan
by Logan Perkins - 2000
While Smart Growth, New Urbanism, Neo-traditionalism, and dozens of other
growth control ideas have merit, few inspire a vision of a truly great Colorado
for current and future residents. Plans are either piece-meal or simply
uninspired with respect to issues of livability, quality of life, basic human
dignity needs, and future changes.
At a minimum, a comprehensive assessment of the remaining undeveloped land
in Colorado should aim to preserve from development the following:
- Prime Agricultural Lands;
- Wildlife Corridors and Migratory Routes;
- Green Belts, Scenic Vistas, and Historic Lands.
These lands should not be paved over. Undeveloped lands that do not fit into
the above categories should be considered for future developments, based on
carrying capacity. Recognizing that Colorado will continue to grow in
population, new development should occur outside the greenbelts of existing
cities. Denver, Colorado Springs, and Ft. Collins have grown enough. The
harm in traffic and pollution from continued growth outweigh any benefits.
The planned growth around the new sections of C-470 in metropolitan Denver
will not benefit the majority of existing residents. The new developments along
highway 36 take away from the beauty of the Rockies and will cause traffic nightmares.
Advanced Planning - Ecocities & Transit Villages
The pattern of low density sprawl and single-use zoning must end. Such
developments are segregational , unsustainable, alienating, and
aesthetically monotonous. They do not encourage inter-generational community. They are
completely automobile dependent and resource wasteful. To accommodate
- Create infill development in depressed areas, brownfields, and unused industrial zones as is occurring in LoDo, Denver. However, not all of the empty lots
in existing cities should be built upon. Some should become pocket parks and community gardens that will enhance existing residents' lives. [Advanced
- Lower income housing should be encouraged. Additionally, efforts should be made to accommodate those displaced from gentrification.
- Create high-speed rail leading out from city centers to areas with appropriate carrying capacity, especially with respect to water availability. This is where
transit villages and ecocities should be built to accommodate new growth. See Map
- New developments should aim to be environmentally sustainable, economically self-reliant, and self contained with respect to cultural and recreational
- New developments should be on a human scale, with set growth boundaries, walkable, with a variety of transportation choices outside of automobile
- Alternative transportation should include: light rail, trolleys, smooth paths for biking and skating, and separated walking and horse paths. Automobiles
should be parked on the outskirts of the community. Roadways within the city should be open for delivery and service vehicles.
- New communities should incorporate renewable, non-polluting energy sources, energy efficient designs and appliances, complete recycling facilities, and
reduced dependence on resources from outside the community.
- New communities should be equipped with fiber optic networks, including two-way computers in every residence for on-line education, health
information, employment searches, banking, shopping, and direct democracy.
- Xeriscaping and permaculture, organic agriculture, community garden plots, rooftop greenhouses, and aquaculture should be encouraged.
- Designs should allow mixed-use zoning, with residents encouraged to work from home, and a wide variety of energy efficient architecture.
Drawing of Colorado Growth Plan
Downtown Denver Plan -- 16th Street Mall Transportation
Personal Article on Colorado Growth
Livable City Photos