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DENVER CITYCRAFT A collaborative, long-term, collective impact approach for restoring the economic, environmental, and social health of West Denver.

CityCrafting Phase 2 Integration Framework DRAFT January 2015


Table of Contents Section 1: Executive Summary • Introduction • An Integrated Approach • West Denver Phase 1 and 2 Summary • Systems Scale • Critical Issues • Assets • Integration Opportunities Summary • Implementation Summary

p 3 - 13

Section2: Integration Framework • Framework Part 1: Implementation • Framework Part 2: Integration Opportunities

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Appendix

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© 2015 CityCraft 2120 Noisette Blvd., Suite 108 B N Charleston SC, 29405 DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

Introduction CityCraft is partnering with the City and County of Denver, The Gates Family Foundation, The Denver Housing Authority, The Denver Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners (“Denver CityCraft Group” or “DCCG”) to assess the potential for West Denver to be a model for sustainable and resilient urban regeneration at the district scale. Utilizing the CityCrafting process, the DCCG is bringing together a broad group of stakeholders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to focus on regeneration and restoration of financial, natural, physical, and social capital. The purpose of this document is to present an Integration Framework for West Denver, and it builds upon the Phase I Report (Denver CityCraft: CityCrafting Phase 1 Observations).

An Integrated Approach Today there are many models of urban regeneration, and the CityCrafting process is distinguished by prioritizing the idea that integration of financial, natural, physical, and social capital at the systems and cross-sector scale is needed to create durable solutions. Balanced investment in these four areas supports the long-term health of a community. The modern trend toward increasing compartmentalization and specialization manifests itself in narrowly defined interests competing for too few resources. Therefore, the heart of our approach is to strengthen the community assets by increasing the number of groups with a vested interest in any single resource; to combine and streamline public, private, and NGO resources; and to align interests that build broad constituencies. This integration is designed to drive collaboration among a variety of stakeholders and reduce silobased decision making. Each community faces a unique combination of critical issues, and the oppor tunities to meet them var y accordingly. Despite this diversity of critical issues, CityCraft strategies have a consistent character : they reflect the integration of at least two resources of financial, natural, physical and social capital; they are adaptive, flexible and designed to evolve over time. Long-term regenerative local capacity is the ultimate goal and measure of success. Using this approach, CityCraft has served West Denver as a facilitator to build upon previous efforts and identify opportunities for integration and implementation.

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The integration of existing and future efforts aligns interests, drives efficiency, and attracts additional investment

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

West Denver Phase 1 & 2 Summary The CityCrafting process is composed of three phases: 1 is a forensic discovery effort wherein data is collected to identify critical issues affecting the community and the uncovering of assets that the community can use to address them. This phase also makes recommendations for the appropriate geographic scale of this effort. 2 creates a Framework that lays out the integration and implementation opportunities to address critical issues. The Framework for West Denver is presented in this document. 3 represents the implementation phase. This phase begins with initial implementation steps including formalizing the implementation partnership through collective impact, completing detailed capital mapping process, testing of integration opportunities and deeper community engagement. The Phase 1 process is designed to identify critical issues and assets in a specific area. In West Denver, we began holding meetings, conducting interviews and researching in February 2014. Phase 1 was careful not to replicate the efforts of previous plans or studies but rather to identify and understand linkages between these plans and studies. We identified issues and assets in a summary of observations relative to the area’s natural, physical, and human assets, including organizations, plans and studies. The Phase 2 process analyzed issues and assets so that the issues could be addressed in an integrated manner, resulting in recombined integration opportunities and a plan for beginning implementation.

Systems Scale Phase 1 established a focus area and geographic limits of this effort. The appropriate geographic scale for this effort was selected based on an examination of the relevant systems (such as transportation, geography, hydrology, land use, socio-economic). In urban areas, many tend to simplify systems that serve single functions. These systems should be viewed as working together and functioning as a whole for environmental and human benefit. Not only do the systems themselves require analysis but most importantly, the interactions and interdependence of the systems needs to be taken into account. Determining an appropriate geographic scale helps to provide stacked benefits across sectors specific to the needs of the community and builds off existing assets. At the appropriate scale, long term strategies for sustainable funding and partnering of resources can be created. A scale is needed that leverages resources and drives efficiencies across sectors (public, private, nonprofit). There are resources in the form of grants, designations and investments that have minimum requirements regarding scale and size. The pairing of appropriate scale and cross-sector collaboration attracts additional like-minded investment. This scale achieves the following goals: 1. allows for issues to be addressed at a multi-neighborhood scale; 2. provides a large enough area to encourage integration and stimulation of capital, and 3. encourages the physical & economic integration of neighborhood efforts DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

The West Denver area is composed of approximately 6,400 acres and 10 neighborhoods. Despite its close proximity to downtown, much of West D e n v e r i s i s o l a t e d p h y s i c a l l y, psychologically and economically. Contributing to the isolation is the lack of road connectivity, the South Platte River (Platte), gulches, and postindustrial sites. The majority of the area is zoned residential with many neighborhoods being separated from each other by these major roads, gulches and the Platte. Industrial and commercial use is concentrated on either side of the South Platte River and along a handful of major corridors. Three drainageways – Lakewood Gulch, Lakewood Dr y Gulch, and Weir Gulch--flow generally from west to east across the area through relatively deep ravines. The West Denver focus area is approximately 6,400 acres. The area is roughly bound by Sheridan Blvd on the West; Sloan Lake, Highlands and Downtown on the North; Klamath St on the East and Mississippi Ave to the South. The population is 63,000. There are 21,000 existing housing units.

Possessing a population of 63,000, the area is primarily Hispanic (73%) and has a diversity of other cultures including African-Americans, African, Asian, Anglos, Native American, and other. This mosaic of communities reflects an important part of Denver's cultural and historic heritage. The population is quite young with 33% under the age of 18, and 80% of the population representing the millennials or Gen X generations.

1% 1% 3% 3% 15%

19%

20%

5% 33% 60%

8%

73%

Hispanic Black Native American

White Asian Other

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59%

Millenials (0-34) Gen X (35-49) Baby Boomers (50-69) Silent Gen (70+)

less than 18 65 plus other 5


Section 1 - Executive Summary

Critical Issues West Denver is challenged to maintain and improve a place of opportunity for existing residents in the face of uncertain economic and social conditions given the: high percentage of population under the age of 18; low income levels compared to Denver median; high levels of unemployment; high percentage of immigrant population; highest concentration of under-performing or failing schools in the city; lack of relative investment and; gentrification encroachment from the north. Between Phase 1 and Phase 2, there was a transition from seven total issues to six because lack of infrastructure funding was a common issue affecting all and became embedded into all critical issues moving forward.

Critical Issues Facing West Denver include but are not limited to: • Connectivity • Natural Systems • Education and Careers • Affordability • Empowerment • Health and Food DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

Assets West Denver possesses a variety of existing assets that, if aligned in a long-term integrative manner, could act as a model for urban regeneration for the Denver region and beyond. Phase 1 explored how the development opportunities, catalysts, existing organizations and efforts, the mosaic of cultures, location, young population, and natural systems could be brought together to support improvements that are sustainable and resilient.

Note: The above assets are not meant to portray a comprehensive set, rather provide examples of common assets associated with critical issues.

By building upon existing assets and efforts, critical issues and challenges can be addressed to transform West Denver into a model for sustainable community revitalization and urban regeneration.

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

Integration Opportunities Integration opportunities necessary to heal the social, economic and environmental systems of West Denver emerged during the process of analyzing assets and critical issues. These integration opportunities provide recommended specific solutions that address critical issues while building on existing assets. The goal is to always look for integrated solutions first when trying to address a critical issue. These opportunities should be further tested and analyzed but they still represent significant opportunities for West Denver to take a cross-sector integrated approach.

Analysis and Synthesis of issues and assets shows us that where many see problems or issues, we see opportunities for solutions to overcome those issues. Flipping critical issues from Phase 1 into integration opportunities in Phase 2 provides the basis for the integration framework. Integration Opportunties Identified: 1. A Connected Community 2. Healing Natural Systems 3. A Place of Opportunity: From Cradle to Career 4. Preserving Affordability 5. An Empowered West Denver 6. Food for Thought

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

Suitability Mapping for Deployment of Integration Opportunities Once integration opportunities have been fully mapped, tested and analyzed, locations for optimal deployment can be mapped in West Denver. This mapping process provides indicators for place based suitability decision making. The intent is to map locations optimized for success, integrating a number of assets and providing solutions to more then one critical issue. This effort is to be completed in Phase 3 as described in following sections. The ability to replicate the execution of integration opportunities has a stacked effect of individual benefits, all specific to the issues they were designed to address. Above: The areas in orange represent the

possibility of mapping suitable locations in West Denver for deployment of integration opportunities.

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

Executing on Integration Opportunities: Implementation Summary

Implementation Strategies Use Collective Impact to Define Implementation Partnership Community Engagement & Communications Establish a Physical Presence • Full time Director/PM role • Graduate level intern (research and Director support) • Community design center • A space to convene the Implementation Partnership

Integrate Efforts, Deliverables & Milestones • • • • • • •

Promise Zone Choice Neighborhood Sun Valley DHA planning efforts (includes EcoDistrict) City planning efforts University research effort Mile High Connects Other foundation/nonprofit efforts

Capital Mapping, Analysis & Testing of Integration Opportunities Capital Integration Framework

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Implementation becomes reality when integration opportunities transform into integrated solutions. For the implementation Phase, CityCraft recommends funding and deploying a three-year program guided by the strategies as outlined below, accompanied by an understanding that the program will evolve with time. The first step of year one is to create an Implementation Partnership based on the current DCCG. Overall, the program approach should be nimble and flexible, with a form that follows function. The first years should be geared towards determining the long-term structure, while concurrently executing the facilitation of integrated solutions. For this effort and during this time frame, we recommend that the program leverage the existing fund at The Denver Foundation. It should be clear that this implementation effort is a resource and a tool for the community of West Denver. Actions taken should represent a collective voice.

More on implementation in Section 2

Local participation, leadership and ideas should continue to move this effort forward and evolve over time. 10


Section 1 - Executive Summary

Implementation could take the form of a West Denver Restoration Initiative

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

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Section 1 - Executive Summary

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Framework Part 1: Implementation CityCraft recommends funding and deploying a three-year program guided by the milestones as outlined below, accompanied by an understanding that the program will evolve with time. The first step of year one is to create an Implementation Partnership based on the current DCCG. We also recommend that the program leverage the existing CityCraft fund at The Denver Foundation. The Implementation partnership will develop more specific deliverables as the program develops. Overall, the program approach should be nimble and flexible, with a form that follows function. The first years should be geared towards determining the long-term structure (new nonprofit, embedded in existing organization, social enterprise, etc.), while concurrently executing the facilitation of integrated solutions.

Our experience suggests that efforts like this one often suffer from the pressure to know everything before doing anything, which can cause delays. The project requirements in this effort will always be in a state of flux, so to expect all requirements to be perfectly defined and static prior to starting is a recipe for failure. The Implementation Partnership should be cautious about getting bogged down in process and governance issues that are not necessary for progress. The Implementation Partnership will work best if it embraces collaboration and flexibility, which are key to projects that rely heavily on discovery and face a variety of unknowns at the outset. The high level goals should be stable, but management of the day to day must be more fluid. The next phase of this project will require new investment in the year ahead. These investments should come in a variety of forms including direct funding and in-kind resources. It should call upon existing and new partnerships for funding, and a range of in-kind contributions.

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Year One: West Denver Partnership and Capital Mapping The first year of the implementation phase should proceed with the following six implementation partnership strategies as soon as possible. Collective Impact (CI) is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving specific social problems using a str uctured for m of collaboration. The conditions for success using a CI framework are: • a Common Agenda, whereby implementing partners have a shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions. • Shared Measurement that means collecting data and measuring results consistently to ensure that efforts remain aligned and implementing partners hold each other accountable. See Benchmarks for Success. • Mutually Reinforcing Activities in which implementing partners’ activities are coordinated plans of action. • Continuous Communication that is consistent and open is needed across many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and appreciate common motivation. • Backbone support, which would be provided by the Implementing Partnership in West Denver.

1. Use Collective Impact to Define the Implementation Partnership The DCCG is already an active and engaged group, but the Implementing Partnership will require more formal governance as time goes on and more funding comes into play. The DCCG should be the core group for this effort, acting and serving as the Board for the par tnership. Additional partners will be identified and added as necessary. The Implementing Partnership should cross sectors, be led by the community itself, and encompass long term, holistic thinking. It should also respect and elevate the social and ecological systems of West Denver and the bioregion in which it sits. It should balance and embrace the needs of the community and the evolving 21st Centur y economic culture and conditions. Finally, the Implementing Partnership will need to navigate the cultural differences between and within neighborhoods.

2. Integrate Efforts, Deliverables and Milestones There are a variety of efforts underway in West Denver to transform the area. Each piece is working hard on its own mission, but paralleled efforts do not necessarily produce desired results. Many efforts are operating in isolated silos. They are a collection of efforts working near one another but not overlapping and integrating. The integration of specific efforts, at scale, and long term in West Denver will go a long way towards attracting additional investment, promoting efficient collaboration and providing higher rates of return on capital spent. Examples efforts that could be integrated include: • • • •

Promise Zone (if designation is received) Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant application Sun Valley DHA master planning efforts (includes EcoDistrict) City planning efforts

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

• University research effort • Mile High Connects • Other Applicable foundation and nonprofit efforts 3. Establish a Physical Presence To take advantage of existing efforts, energy and momentum in West Denver, there should be staff placed in the community to serve as the coordinator and local champion. These staff would represent the “backbone suppor t” in the CI model. Their responsibilities would include providing strategic direction; mobilizing funding; engaging the community; creating transparency around development initiatives; serving as a hub for economic development and job training; supporting community dialogue, learning and cultural expression; connecting to urban food efforts and other actor s related to the integration opportunities; and supervising data collection and analysis. This staff would be responsible for a community capital center that counts and values all forms of capital and establishes direction for investing, growing and reinvesting of community capital. The physical presence should include:: • • • •

Full time Director/PM role Graduate level intern (research and Director support) Community design center (possibly a pop-up with DHA at Sun Valley) A space to convene the Implementation Partnership

4. Complete Detailed Capital Mapping, Analysis and Testing of Integration Opportunities Capital mapping and analysis is the cornerstone of productively, appropriately and efficiently integrating the structure, negotiation and function of all forms of capital into a community development initiative. Value should be placed on 4 forms of Capital: financial, natural, physical, and social (a return to a model of development that invests in the long term health of the bioregion). It’s important here to design the community into the care and stewardship of each community resource unlocking value in existing, underutilized capital, assets, and infrastructure. A joint DCCG effort should work with existing community assets to document the current structure of relevant capital and determine where there are significant gaps as well as opportunities for partnering and deploying capital towards integration opportunities. These integration opportunities should be tested and prioritized. As part of this process, suitability mapping should be conducted to identify specific areas in West Denver optimized for

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

implementation of multiple integration opportunities serving as a model for replicating at scale in West Denver and the region. Metrics should be established for each integration opportunity. This should build upon existing efforts and be completed in 2015. To the extent possible at this stage of the process, the intent is to use the S.M.A.R.T. method of developing goals and objectives so they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resultsfocused,and Time-bound. The Noisette Rose is another alternative used to facilitate goal setting and measurement. More info on the Noisette Rose can be found in the appendix. Outcomes include increasing the number of groups with a vested interest in any community resource as users and beneficiaries; aligning interests to build broader constituencies to support long-term community resources; leveraging and combining the resources of public, private, and NGO entities in the creation of any community resource. 5. Finalize Capital Integration Framework It has become clear that we have too many narrowly defined interests competing for too few resources both in the public and private sector. We believe that the issue is not a lack of money but how funds and resources are counted and allocated. Capital integration comprises the aggregation, str ucturing, negotiation and ongoing management of the relevant capital and configurations of capital identified in initial and ongoing capital mapping and analysis work. This understanding of capital management and leverage is central to a successful long term effort such as this. Concurrently with the mapping, analysis and testing process, the implementation partnership should: • lead the implementation of public and private investments in a coordinated and resourceful manner by coordinating specific investment strategies aggregated and structured to encourage recirculation of financial capital within the area while promoting investments that improve healthy lifestyles and improved natural resource management. • Convene a West Denver capital roundtable • Mobilize seed funding and/or related resources necessary for implementation • Ensure the connection of capital and operating budgets when planning any investment • Establish reserve fund mechanisms to handle future repair, maintenance, and replacement costs • Integrate current financial mechanisms already operating in area where possible • Develop innovative sustainable funding mechanisms specifically crafted towards addressing critical issues of West Denver

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

6. Facilitate Community Engagement and Communications Engagement and communications should build upon existing and previous efforts to capture momentum and ensure fluidity. Consistent and open communications is needed across many stakeholders to build trust, assure mutual objectives and appreciate common motivation. Reporting on progress or lack thereof is necessary for accountability. Websites, social media, events, and continued community engagement and Implementation Partnership: involvement should all play a vital - c o nve n e s e r i e s o f g r o u p d i s c u s s i o n s role. Neighborhood efforts should br ainstor ming how each integr ation be assessed for potential opportunity can be implemented integration. Joint marketing for - prioritizing and scheduling economic development, with - identifying of stakeholders common language touting the - identification of available funding and need assets and vision of West Denver for additional resources would help strengthen and craft the identity of the area. This process should be guided by The Denver Foundation and work to: • Facilitate dialogue between partners • Communicate to: • Primary stakeholders: DCCG organizations/teams, departments • Secondary stakeholders • Coordinate community outreach and engagement

Years 2-3: Solidifying a long-term structure Subsequent years will require investment building upon 2014-2015 efforts in more detail. There should be a deeper continuation of integration of efforts. There should be continued testing and evolution of integration opportunities. This time period should be utilized to develop a long term structure of this West Denver effort related to governance, determining what roles, authorities the entity should have long term. A sustainable funding model for this entity and effort should be developed. It could possibly take the form of a social enterprise entity that collects a percentage of the new value creation from all sectors as well as public sector cost reductions while ensuring the majority is reinvested in needs locally. This could also be the entity thru which projects are approved as well as financing delivered from network of resources

Year 4 and Beyond: Sustained funding and governance The intent from this point forward is for the effort to be self-funding. The DCCG will develop the funding model and structure during the 2015-2017 program cycle. DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Benchmarks for Success: Measuring, Reporting, and Learning from Results Ultimately, success will be measured based on the area’s long term regenerative capacity and the ability to create bridges of opportunity across neighborhoods, industry sectors, and generations. A key goal is to identify baseline conditions and metrics that document the successes and failures of the evolving health of the city’s economic, environmental and social fabric and their interdependence. To evaluate our success in achieving these goals, we need ways of measuring progress, a mechanism for reporting the results, and a method to enable the planners of future projects to learn from the experiences of completed projects. In West Denver, there is great opportunity to work with area universities, integrating existing data sources and research efforts. As anchor institutions, Universities are catalytic agents for revitalizing distressed areas of our cities. There should be a interdisciplinary university research effort to study the evolution of the area to a sustainable economy and culture over time. There should be a long term commitment to research and measuring progress in a transparent manner, driven by the local community. In order for this to be accomplished it requires the Active Integration Example from CityCrafting commitment of a University to Efforts: Colorado Center for Community lead this research effort, which Development and Denver Shared Spaces Design should include other University Studio a n d c o m m u n i t y p a r t n e r s . Eleven architecture graduate students learning Objectives related to this effort about the challenges of shared commercial spaces s h o u l d i n c l u d e a d d r e s s i n g and changing real estate markets, and how, c u r r i c u l u m , c o n d u c t i n g architecture can play a role in that. Project area participatory action research and located in Sun Valley neighborhood of West providing long term assessment. Denver (Decatur St building) properties to the The presence of the Auraria north, south and west so as to show how a job Campus should be leveraged as a hub might be retained adjacent to the DHA critically important resource for redevelopment area. Also exploring what an the regenerative capacity of West Employment TOD should be. Denver. Universities and programs showing interest to this end thus far include; University of Colorado at Denver (Dept of Planning and Design / Dept of Anthropology Urban Food Systems), Colorado Center for Community Development, University of Denver (College of Business, College of Law, School of Real Estate and Construction). The long-term research effort or center is the City itself, not a new building or laboratory created on a University campus. Existing Chairs, Professors, and Researchers will be able to combine efforts in the classroom and research while engaging with the neighboring community. An integrated research program may provide professors and departments with excellent opportunities to engage in cross disciplinary research that will benefit both their academic objectives and the evolution of West Denver. The research should also include a renewed focus on all the capital assets of a city and how they become valued and counted as part of the cities complete capital system rather than only counting and valuing financial capital. DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Framework Part 2: Integration Opportunities The goal of Phase 2 is to transform the critical issues faced by the community into viable solutions for revitalization and provide an integrated framework for their implementation. Whereas Phase 1 identified critical issues, Phase 2 takes the approach that these critical issues can actually be viewed as opportunities. Because the overarching goal is crosssector integration at the systems scale, strategies for each oppor tunity were identified using the following criteria: • Does the strategy benefit more than one type of capital? • Does the strategy address the systems at scale and across sectors? • Does the strategy integrate existing assets and build local capacity for future efforts? Six integration opportunities emerged. 1. A Connected Community 2. Healing Natural Systems 3. A Place of Oppor tunity: From Cradle to Career 4. Preserving Affordability 5. An Empowered West Denver 6. Food for Thought

What qualifies as action? Sometimes initiating a dialogue is all that is needed. "Traditionally, we want a strategy, and a list of next steps and milestones, and the knowledge of who will be responsible for them in order to be satisfied that we have spent our time well when we are together. Any change in the world will, in fact, need this kind of action. To say, however, that this is all that counts as action is too narrow. If we are to value building social fabric and belonging as much as budgets, timetables, and bricks and mortar, we need to consider actions in a broader way.” - From “Community: The Structure of Belonging” Peter Block

The six integration opportunities propose implementation strategies across sectors (public, private, nonprofit) and at the systems scale. The intent is to propose goals that align actions, build local capacity to address issues, and incorporate guiding principles for a 21st century economy. Phase 1 Critical Issue

➤ Phase 2 Integration Opportunity

Connectivity

➤ A Connected Community

Natural Systems

➤ Healing Natural Systems

Education and Careers

➤ A Place of Opportunity: From Cradle to Career

Affordability

➤ Preserving Affordability

Empowerment

➤ An Empowered West Denver

Health and Food

➤ Food for Thought

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

1. A Connected Community West Denver has faced a long history of disinvestment and isolation that has disconnected residents from the opportunities of the Denver Metro Area. The area is immensely constrained by the physical environment; boxed in by major throughway roads, industrial zones, and the steep terrain surrounding Lakewood and Weir Gulch, accessibility to jobs, food and workforce training. While the physical barriers to access are many for an urban neighborhood, the psychological barriers and isolation may present even greater obstacles and require a holistic approach to rebuilding community identity from the ground up. Communities in West Denver have limited networks, social capital, and organizations to galvanize community identity. There are few public gathering spaces and programming for community members to connect and to explore the rich cultural heritage of the area. The new West Line light rail, greenways, and park construction are connecting West Denver like never before. Increasing accessibility has provided the first step to reconnect area residents with greater Denver, as well as increasing local mobility for recreation, nature, adjacent neighborhoods, and services.   We recommend a threepronged approach to achieve local mobility and connectivity, as well as increased regional access. Coordinated placemaking, an extensive multimodal network, and strengthening the role of schools as centers of community are recommended here to re-connect West Denver’s social, environmental, and economic fabric and provide long-term opportunities for area residents. This approach aims to achieve health improvements for current residents, a strengthened sense of community, and greater accessibility to area services and recreation. These neighborhood transformations will create a stronger sense of place, restored connections to community, and investments in local economy and job creation. 1.1 Placemaking efforts establish numerous and varying small hubs for residents that are walkable, transit friendly and increase the visibility and access to local businesses. 1.1.1 Example for Getting Started--Convene west side “connectivity” exchange forum in 2015. The focus of the exchange forum is to: • • • •

Share on-going connectivity and placemaking activities here and elsewhere in City, including: West Colfax BID wayfinding signage BuCu West-District 3 Arts public art Athmar Park and La Alma neighborhood P.S. You Are Here grant recipients

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

o WalkDenver’s WALKScope efforts o Denver Urban Gardens o Sun Valley Youth Center o Radian Resources’ Imagining the Possibilities program o Better Block events; • Identify locations for short-term and long-term Placemaking in West Denver based on needed goods and services ; • Share information about 1) funding sources to activate small gathering spaces, designed by and for local people including artists; • Identify obstacles to creative/entrepreneur ventures such as vendor licensing for mobile markets and food carts; identify ways to reduce regulatory barriers and provide seed funding. 1.1.2 Establish a West Denver wayfinding project to help visitors and residents locate businesses, transit stops, parks and recreation areas, routes within and between neighborhoods, and gulch crossings. Enlist support of students, artists, community members and agencies (e.g., Denver Parks, RTD and UDFCD) to design and install signage that enhances sense of place. Possible near-term effort could be initiated by DHA as part of the Sun Valley Master Planning process. Build off of the West Colfax BID wayfinding effort for example. 1.1.3 Expand and create multiple small neighborhood hubs for retail, services, and neighborhood gathering in proximity to other destinations, e.g., bus stops, parks, schools. Include input from the 2015 Connectivity Exchange Forum, Sun Valley Master Plan, Park planning, and Westwood and other neighborhood plans. Potential locations could include district interior intersections and near light rail stations, bus stops, and neighborhood parks. • Remove barriers and build capacity to expand entrepreneurial and creative programming associated with the hubs. 1.1.4 Create a network of accessible, connected parks to encourage outdoor recreation within neighborhood cores. •

• •

Improve access from residential areas to parks and trails by rationalizing and formalizing social trails (e.g. up steep slopes and near bridges along the gulches); Connect existing parks and greenways to each other along priority routes to schools and work by expanding multimodal street enhancements and offstreet bicycle pedestrian walkways, and; Ensure new parks, e.g., created from vacant parcels, create ‘stepping stones” to other parks and are linked by walkable/bikeable routes. Improve water quality and risk of flooding by filtering and managing stormwater,

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1.1.5 Develop and expand branding practices of local business/industrial district to: Increase visibility through location-based branding, e.g., through social media and websites;, to support and market collective of existing businesses and attracts new entrepreneurs • Designate a West Denver organization or collective to coordinate branding activities and organize social events to link businesses to each other and to neighborhoods (e.g., goodwill events such as outdoor parties/BBQs) and to work on safety, fundraising, etc.. • Participate in initiating a citywide “Denver-Made” program with ties to West Denver activities, e.g. through creation of an in-district “maker space.” Possible partners include MHBA, BALLE, OED. 1.2 An expanded network of multi-modal choices connects West Denver neighborhoods with each other and to adjacent destinations. •

1.2.1 Increase access to alternative transportation options for low income residents e.g., by providing discount eco-passes for light rail and bus. Consider relevant recommendations put forth by JumpStart Community Needs Assessments. Possible partners to initiate conversations include DHA, The City, RTD, bicycle rental program, and Car2Go 1.2.2 Identify ways to assist with implementing ‘last mile connections’ as highlighted in the Denver Regional Equity Atlas, such as engaging non-traditional funding sources. Possible partners include 9-5, Mile High Connects, Walk Denver, Public Works, Health and Human Services;and in the Station Area Plan. 1.2.3 Establish a West Denver Mobility Loop that provides a continuous bike and walk trail routes connecting gulches, river, parks, schools, and commercial areas. Establish a dialogue between the City of Denver, Greenway Foundation, Parks, Natural Areas, CDOT, Bicycle Colorado, RTD and other critical mobility stakeholders 1.2.4 Expand the priority intersection mapping presented in the Station Area Plan to the full target area and plan improvements that prioritize intersections near schools. Improve sidewalks and road crossings near schools and community hubs. Follow design guidelines in Urban Street Design Guide DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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(National Association of City Transportation Officials, NACTO). Possible partners are DPS, CO Health Fdtn, Walk Denver, Place Matters, RTD, Denver Police (Safety by Design), Safe Routes, City of Denver Public Works and UDFCD. 1.2.5 Hold a design competition for creative crossings and programming of adjacent spaces at difficult intersections and underutilized properties -- such as current cloverleaf exchange and across 6th Avenue-- to improve multiple functions (including environmental) and connectivity between Sun Valley, the Lincoln Park/Auraria Campus, and the industrial corridor. Possible partners include: CDOT, Urban Land Institute (ULI), UCD College of Architecture and Planning, WalkDenver, Stadium District, and DHA. 1.3 Schools become Centers of Communities through increased community programming and site improvements. 1.3.1 Activate school facilities for non-school hour use as neighborhood gathering places and for groups to provide local adult education, community social events, art exhibits, job fairs, and recreation. 1.3.2 Convert underutilized turf areas at schools to living, outdoor classrooms that demonstrate native ecosystems or food gardens. Tie outdoor classrooms into school curriculum. Success of these efforts is often attributed to an engaged Principal: additional possible partners include Denver School Garden Coalition, CU Denver, and DUG. 1.3.3 Develop opportunities for school facilities and adjacent properties to accommodate neighborhood one-stop service delivery by: • • •

Building upon/replicating model developed between Westwood Family Health Center and Knapp Elementary School Building upon efforts between schools, LiveWell Westwood, and Hunger-Free Colorado. Possible additional partners include Denver HHS Department and Headstart.

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2. Healing Natural Systems Phase 1 identified that 90% of land area in West Denver area was impermeable and that the existing natural resources were in grave condition. These urban impacts inhibit the proper functioning of the natural systems in this area, which directly impacts the water quality of the larger 2,000,000 acre watershed that flows into the Platte River thru West Denver. Natural system depletion also has a direct impact on community health, recreation access, and environmental education. Our recommendations aim to restore West Denver’s natural resources to protect ecosystem functions and foster improved water stewardship, habitat for healthy and diverse native plants and animals, and community education and health benefits. Natural systems restoration efforts would provide significant benefit transfers to the community, water utilities, and parks and recreation organizations. Additionally, healing the West Denver ecosystem would create numerous opportunities for improving human connectivity and opportunities for community-based jobs, such as urban farming and developing an ecosystem restoration workforce. Restoration efforts will be coupled with environmental education initiatives to deepen the communities’ interaction with nature and understanding of the ecological systems. Connectivity to schools at the neighborhood scale would allow for adoption of the many targeted connectivity gaps but create a stewardship and training for restoring and reconnecting these systems. The scale of this work across the district would create opportunities for building new skilled labor for the future ecosystem restoration field as well as ownership of companies expert in this work, which is transferable across the Denver region, including building an urban agriculture supply system. The recommendations outlined for Healing the Natural Systems are linked, at the scale level, to connectivity objectives, infrastructure funding gaps, cradle thru career education, job creation and economic development, and access to healthy food and lifestyle. 2.1 Eco-literacy and stewardship programs for a range of ages are integrated into a variety of West Denver venues including recreation areas, community outreach during design development, art and camp programs, as well as traditional school settings. 2.1.1 Example for Getting Started --Integrate eco-education and programming around “what is home” as part of design and development process during Sun Valley DHA master planning and development. 2.1.2 Connect college classes and senior HS volunteers with elementary and middle schools to assist with experiential learning opportunities through living labs similar to “Grow Boulder “ at CUBoulder or Montessori’s ‘Make a Difference’ DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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model. Possible partners include DUG, CU-Denver, Bridge Project DU, Denver Parks, and school principals. 2.1.3 Initiate natural area stewardship programs for West Denver kids and communities to inspire involvement in caring for natural assets (e.g., through bird watching, butterfly counts, seed collecting, planting etc.) Consider developing mobile exhibit for West Denver-based natural systems. Possible partners include: Museum of Nature and Science, Children’s museum, Greenway foundation, Denver Parks, REI, DHA, the Aquarium, and Elitches. 2.1.4 Increase the number and types of interpretive educational stations/experiential learning in high traffic areas at gulches, parks, and schools, and in Sun Valley to improve residents’ understanding of natural processes like flooding, water cycles, pollution reduction, seed dispersal, habitat values, and climate issues. 2.1.5 Provide pathways for youth internships and participation in local ecological restoration through partnerships with existing groups e.g., Volunteers of Colorado, Wildland Restoration Volunteers, Groundworks Denver, Blue Crew stewards, and others. 2.1.6 Join with existing community groups to hold water or eco-festival events at hubs such as gardens or parks e.g., in conjunction with other holiday, spring planting or harvest days, park opening, or restoration project. Possible partners include Auraria Water Center [check name], DUG, local businesses and community organizations. 2.2 A West Denver Restoration Initiative identifies areas in existing parks, open spaces, and throughout neighborhoods where native plant communities and habitats are expanded and improved. 2.2.1 Develop a coordinated restoration implementation plan with prioritized goals and objectives using input from local resource expert panel. •

Prioritize conservation targets including riparian and wetland areas, aquatic habitat (in lakes, South Platte, gulches) wetlands and riparian areas, and native upland grasslands. Start with reaches adjacent to school properties and engage students in design, implementation, and monitoring. Focus on: o Creating and expanding riparian buffers and floodplain functions to improve habitat connectivity and resilience along drainage ways. o Repairing and improving eroding stream banks along gulches (moderate to severely impaired) to improve habitat and water quality. o Daylighting buried sections of stream and naturalizing concrete and rock armored sections. Improve and expand areas of native plant communities and habitats for multiple ecological values – beyond streams – could be uplands, urban bird habitat, stormwater BMPs

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Incorporate ways to test potential for job creation and development of a “restoration economy,” using local labor, equipment, and materials. Potential partners include Urban Drainage, Denver Park, Public Works (who has upcoming Weir Gulch Improvement Plan), UDFCD, CDOT, Parks, and Public Works, Land Trusts, Community Design Center, ecological consultants, universities, and non-profit volunteer groups. 2.2.2 Design and install demonstration areas for urban habitat for areas in close proximity to schools, trails, and visitor attractions. Potential partners are Audubon Society, Denver Water, Denver Parks, UDFCD, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, plant nursery or landcare providers. •

2.2.3 Prepare a suitability map or pattern book to help neighborhoods select plants with ecological and water conservation values within park amenities and backyard habitat. 2.3 Identify new opportunities for ecological improvements and restoration created through programs such as vacant lot transformation programs and property easements. 2.3.1 Develop a vacant lot transformation program to create new pocket parks and food production areas, and address inequity of parks/residents (compared to elsewhere in City). Prioritize locations for new parks in areas of park deserts and near other cultural areas and ensure new park connections. Possible partners include City of Denver, ULI, TPL, DUG 2.3.2 Expand existing open space acquisition programs by identifying locations for new land bank/land trust, and assisting see appendix for full map with finding funding sources for purchase of property or easements. Possible partners include Colorado Open Lands, Greater Outdoor Colorado, Urban Land Conservancy, and City of Denver (Real estate office , Public Works, and Parks) 2.4 The condition and long-term resilience of native ecosystems are improved by developing a dedicated adaptive management operation and maintenance/ monitoring program. 2.4.1 Increase abundance of native plant species by significantly reducing alien trees and shrubs and noxious weeds, and revegetate with native species. Tie this into future infrastructure projects.

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

2.4.2 Support local labor and business participation in implementing an integrated land management plan (e.g., under Urban Drainage and Parks) Improve coordination between all actors in natural area management to strengthen and improve maintenance programs for open space. Possible partners include UDFCD, Parks, land trusts,Public works, Denver Water. 2.4.3 Model the building trades training and apprenticeships – to create the types of jobs that are needed. The specific industry may be construction, capitalize on existing trade and pipeline of new construction 2.4.4 Engage communities in management and monitoring programs through education outreach efforts, communicate with community through signage and incentives. 2.4.5 Tie Wmonitoring to adaptive management and partner with local universities with relevant programs, non-profits, and local research. Possible partners are DMNS museum of nature and science, Botanic Garden, CU. 2.5 A West Denver Ranger program is established to focus on gulch safety. 2.5.1 Establish a joint effort between Parks, Natural Areas, Police Department, Public Works, and local employment/security services to identify and implement safety improvements including Neighborhood watch programs. 2.5.2 Enlist artists and schools to find creative solutions to graffiti. Offer alternative assistance programs for homeless, gangs, 2.6 Carry out a stormwater retrofit assessment in West Denver watersheds. The assessment identifies and prioritizes opportunities for treatments that improve water quality, allow for groundwater recharge, address flooding, while promoting living infrastructure. 2.6.1 Prioritize locations for network of retrofits and improved stormwater treatment integrated into open space, parks, schools and rights-of-ways in residential areas (roads and alleys). 2.6.2 Create treatment trains that eventually tie and overflow into the existing storm sewer system. 2.6.3 Incorporate wayfinding and education into retrofit design 2.7 Expand existing regulations to ensure that redevelopment meets a high standard for stormwater quality and quantity management. 2.7.1 Use Sun Valley Master Planning process to develop innovative stormwater initiatives. 2.7.2 Consider creation of possible overlay district with special regulations and incentives for positive changes, such as less impermeable and more pervious surfaces. [Water quality features should help reduce downstream detention requirements.]

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

3. A Place of Opportunity: From Cradle to Career West Denver currently lacks the resources to meet the demands of the emerging 21st century economy and the opportunities for residents to participate in the changing workplace. With low educational attainment rates and limited local job opportunities, West Denver must prioritize a dynamic and diverse approach to skills training and employment generation that will fundamentally build local capacity.   There is a need for jobs close to home and a local economy that puts its residents first. The revitalization of West Denver will create a place of opportunity for residents of all ages and experiences by initiating restoration activities, connecting workforce and economic development, business incubation, and youth opportunities.   Initiatives will have strategic focus on the specific economic clusters and skills that connect local capacity to the future economic landscape, both regionally and globally.   Lifelong learning opportunities   will educate the large percentage of residents under the age of 18 and be linked to real world opportunities and continuing education for adult education.    Growing local businesses and scaling up oppor tunities is focused on providing work in an area with lower than average income levels and high levels of unemployment. The programs outlined strive to increase local employment for resident and business retention and create a locally-driven restored physical environment.  Workforce development and entrepreneur programs must be strong in West Denver and connect residents to local opportunities in sectors such as energy retrofits, education, food, health care, creative and other emerging economic sectors. 3.1 Example for Getting Started: Convene a West Denver Economic Development summit for stakeholders to look at recent successes and develop discussion on district economic and workforce development strategies to build off of Decatur Station Area Plan, Jumpstart Plan, and Restoration Initiative objectives. Key Stakeholders might include: Mile High Business Alliance, Sun Valley Business Alliance, Office of Economic Development, area Community Development Corporations (NEWSED and Del Norte), Groundworks Denver, RMMFI, Little Saigon BID, West Colfax BID, BuCu West, labor leaders, and local businesses owners. 3.2 The West Denver Restoration Initiative creates a multi-pronged approach to a renewed community through the efforts of local minds and hands. (See also Opportunity 2.)

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

3.2.1 Establish local Sustainability Center to coordinate local job opportunities with natural system restoration and district-level objectives for a restored West Denver. The center could be established initially within the proposed community design center for the Sun Valley DHA master planning process, and will have specific objectives to: •

Provide opportunities for youth to get work experience serving community in exchange for college scholarships [e.g., GI Bill for sustainability services, Potential partners include Groundwork Denver]

Advocate improved City policies for energy retrofit incentives and programs

Identify specific district sustainable energy generation opportunities [community solar gardens]

3.2.2 Integrate job training programs for skilled labor in restoration sector skills. Efforts should leverage existing community knowledge in skilled trades to establish local training centers and to develop local training leaders. A multipronged training approach should include and integrate pre-apprenticeship (youth) programs, skilled training opportunities of the Workforce Centers and WIN Program, and BCTD Training centers. Connect efforts with BCTD’s Construction Training Programs for training and job placement assistance. Potential partners include AFL-CIO BCTD training centers, DURA, FRESC, Denver Labor, Office of Economic Development, RTD WIN Program 3.2.3 Develop training and certifications for skills needed in restoration sectors: green infrastructure, renewable energy installation, housing weatherization, ecological restoration 3.2.4 Leverage and integrate innovative funding mechanisms for district-scale restoration of infrastructure,housing, and ecological systems. Possible partners include AFL-CIO BCTD, CGI Infrastructure Group, Zocalo Community Development, Denver-based CDFIs and CDCs (NEWSED) 3.3 Connect workforce and economic development programs and priorities to ensure economic revitalization comes from within the community for the community. 3.3.1 Connect the job training-to-job pipeline by leveraging job opportunity contracts in Community-Based Agreements for all new developments. Ensure that all new jobs created in West Denver guarantee a living wage. Connect anticipated development workforce needs to skills training programs and job placement assistance efforts. 3.3.2 Build off of JumpStart recommendations by assessing economic clusters and training efforts in West Denver for high-growth, middle-skill occupation training and opportunities. Develop workforce training 3.3.3 Establish workforce training centers for under-resourced neighborhoods in priority employment sectors. Potential assets include Office of Strategic

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Partnerships, Office of Economic Development, Denver Indian Center, MHBA, Westwood Community Center, MHBA Sun Valley Business Outreach and Support: Findings and Policy Recommendations. Connect training and job placement assistance to employment needs and skills training for Denver’s anchor institutions • Develop education/training partnerships between high schools, community colleges, and training center to provide youth with skillsets for economic opportunity • Evaluate national precedents, including for replicability and feasibility. 3.3.4 Strengthen district career education programs. Develop local partnerships with Denver Community College for job training in district economic clusters and set up “Co-Op” training program with CU Denver’s Bard Center for Entrepreneruship for management, business, planning, in needed fields for health, education, and local industries. •

[CO Health Fdtn, Kaiser Permanente]

Establish opportunities to offer financial literacy, ESL and GED programs in local family-friendly facilities (e.g., churches, community centers, & after hour schools with free child care) • Create clearinghouse to link volunteers (“suburban boomers”) to urban neighborhoods and career education programs 3.4 A strong network of small business incubator programs will diversify the economy and prioritize local-led opportunities •

3.4.1 Prioritize resources, mentorship, and business development skills sharing to local low-income entrepreneurs aiming to strengthen catalytic areas and enhance regionals economic sectors for local food/art/construction. Potential partners include RMMFI, MHBA, Jumpstart, Sun Valley Business Alliance, West Colfax BID, Little Saigon BID< BuCu West •

Boston Impact Initiative - integrated Capital funding (precedent)

3.4.2 Support JumpStart initiative to implement a bold new M/WBE program 3.4.3 Develop partnerships with CU Denver’s Bard Center for Entrepreneurship to connect employment and entrepreneurial training 3.4.4 Continue mapping assets to identify Denver companies and anchor institutions with opportunities for local procurement

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

JumpStart recommendation linkage w food Auraria Campus, Mile High Stadium, Pepsi Center, ellitches, aquarium, Denver Health and Human Services 3.4.5 Cultivate a home-grown innovation district founded on accessibility to local residents. (ULC, others) • • •

Create maker and arts spaces accessible to all ages and community members (all-age space like Atlanta) o reference http://www.techshop.ws

Provide connected/accessible space(s) for entrepreneurial startups and explore interest in local “kickstarter” to link funders to startups • Promote “flex space” innovator opportunities (temporary uses, mobile permits) • Connect with preserving affordability of commercial spaces efforts (integration opportunity 4.3) 3.5 Pre-K-12 education strategies are the key to empowering and engaging youth to lead West Denver’s economic transformation •

3.5.1 Conduct additional mapping and research for integrating existing education initiatives in West Denver and Denver Metro with workforce and economic development goals and opportunities 3.5.2 Establish education initiatives for Sun Valley and other resource-challenged neighborhoods (Decatur SAP Plan) 3.5.3 Connect education initiatives to youth training programs and summer internships in local economic opportunity areas 3.5.4 Leverage funding to support existing area programs (DPS initiatives, Ya Basta, Denver Compact and Children’s Affairs) 3.5.5 Expand funding for current Denver programs into under-resourced areas of West Denver Tie in with AmeriCorps-type programs and other volunteers Beacon Program, DPS programs for pre-K, after-school and summer learning • Boys and Girls Club 3.5.6 Determine capacity of existing facilities considering high percentage of youth population and upward trend (high school, etc) • •

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

4. Preserving Affordability As the city’s economy and population grow, Denver is emerging as a top city in the nation. The recent boom has been lauded as a national success story and continues to attract young professionals and innovative business at a rapid pace. For existing low and middleincome residents, however, this growth has come at the cost of elevated housing and rental prices that can cause rapid neighborhood gentrification.   West Denver is considered to be one of the last non-gentrified communities in Denver, and requires a strong antidisplacement agenda for the long-term vision of West Denver’s future.   Until now, West Denver has maintained deep affordability, but at the cost of disinvestment, lack of opportunity and lack of accessibility.   Market forces and slated development are likely to raise the cost of living and potentially displace much of the community.   With 21,000 existing units and 1,000,000s of square feet in low scale commercial, aging and inefficient building stock is a strain on community economy and limits oppor tunity for improvements.
 West Denver must become an inclusive revitalized community where the existing residents are the pr ior ity.   Unlike tr aditional economic development strategies that aim to displace low-income residents, deep affordability strategies and local capacity building will make the current community and its residents the leading beneficiaries of revitalization.   While most affordability programs focus only on housing expenses, neighborhood revitalization additionally requires a commercial affordability strategy and water and energy retrofit programs for operational affordability. Concentrating on operations is one of the fastest ways to build career skills and improve affordability efforts. Affordability cannot be achieved on the parcel or neighborhood level.  Instead, district-scale programs must be developed and implemented to maintain affordability of existing housing and commercial, maintenance and operation, and new residential and commercial development. By creating a West Denver Restoration Initiative, the 21,000 existing units creates a volume of work in the range of $300-400,000,000 million dollars over a 7-10 year period. This work can organize the existing training capacity and tie into objectives for career training in the building trades for green construction and ecosystem restoration that builds a 21st century green workforce and locally-owned companies. These same skills are transferable to the 1,000’s of new housing units and millions of square feet of new commercial and institutional construction.

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

4.1 The existing housing stock will remain at least 25% affordable in the long-term 4.1.1 Strengthen and expand the efforts of TOD Fund and Denver’s ‘Early Warning System’ to address regional issues, deeper affordability preservation, and nontransit-oriented affordable housing preservation. Potential partners include DURA, TOD Fund, Mile High Connects Housing Working Group. 4.1.2 Strengthen and expand financial education and housing counseling assistance Community Development Entities, and CDFI with localized efforts in West Denver. Potential partners include CRHDC, NEWSED, Urban Land Conservancy, DURA. 4.1.3 Analyze tax abatement policies tied to remodeling projects to stabilize financial burden of increased real estate prices. Tax abatement could be tied to: •

Sustainability, weatherization, energy efficiency efforts (restoration economy jobs)

4.4.1 Expand social impact bonds for affordable and critical need housing 4.2 New development and re-development reflects a deep commitment to affordability in West Denver 4.2.1 Prioritize West Denver developments to support Mayor Hancock’s goal of 3,000 affordable housing units by 2018 4.2.2 Expand Urban Land Conservancy’s capacity through strategic partnerships with the City and area CDCs to increase long-term preservation of affordability 4.2.3 Develop shared strategy to ensure community benefits agreements for every new housing development in West Denver. Potential partners include FRESC and NEWSED. 4.2.4 Convene Denver affordable housing advocacy coalition to leverage preservation policy tools to:

Revise policy on inclusionary zoning to ensure stricter affordable housing requirements for West Denver district Provide mechanisms for tenant opportunities to purchase

Assess policies on affordability definition

Consider tying affordability to combination of housing and transportation • Consider tying affordability to neighborhood median income rather than area median income 4.3 Commercial areas will remain affordable to local small businesses and entrepreneurial activities •

4.3.1 Construct policy mechanisms for affordable commercial preservation akin to the 99-year ground leases currently used for housing preservation DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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4.3.2 Expand Urban Land Conservancy’s efforts to address affordability in retail and industrial zones. Potential partners include a community-based REIT and the Community Development Trust on the national level 4.3.3 Expand affordability opportunities by creating innovative shared space partnerships that leverage social capital advantages. Potential partners include Denver Shared Spaces, Urban Land Conservancy, RMMFI 4.3.4 Establish a Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program that enables neighborhood-based private property managers to own and manage occupied and vacant city buildings • •

Ex) Buildings sold to a housing development fund corp. (within Enterprise Foundation) for $1 and leased to entrepreneurs Leverages Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, tax abatements for capital needs

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

5. An Empowered West Denver West Denver has a long history of community activism and a strong cultural identity. Since the 1940s, West Denver has continued a legacy of activism and is noted as the birthplace of the 1960s Chicano movement.   These deep roots have inspired residents to engage in community organizations, such as Westwood Unidos, and to play an active role in neighborhood development. Despite these efforts, residents have expressed a lack of community identity, engagement, and have felt disconnected from the intentions of area stakeholders.   The anticipated changes in the neighborhood and in the city have the potential to either empower or to displace the current West Denver community.   It is essential for the communities’ interests and voices to be heard and respected for a durable and empowered West Denver. The goal of this integration opportunity is for the West Denver community and civil society organizations to be strengthened by and strengthen the revitalization p r o c e s s .   A s d e ve l o p m e n t proceeds, the community must have an established seat at the table in planning and decisionmaking.   Community members must be simultaneously engaged and inspired to create their vision of a regenerative West Denver. Strategies for community inspiration and empowerment must be deeply rooted in community identity and local residents needs. This platform emphasizes co-creation between stakeholders and residents for all West Denver projects through the community’s active participation in planning and implementation processes. (Risk of extraction and imported economic development requires a strategy for community organizing) 5.1 Getting Started Example: A community design center engages residents in the urban revitalization process. Potential project partners include the Denver Foundation, CU Denver, City Planning. 5.2 Long-term social durability starts with an inspired and empowered community. Increase the funding and resources available to current community empowerment organizations. Link community empowerment strategies to local youth leadership.

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

Possible partners include the Sun Valley Youth Center, Radian Resources (establish local youth leadership), Westwood Unidos, Boys and Girls Club. 5.3 The West Denver community is included in key decision-making through mechanisms such as a participatory budgeting mechanism (e.g. PBNYC) that accompanies new investments and a district-wide standard for Community Benefit Agreements that ensure neighborhood jobs and local neighborhood benefits to support: • • •

allocation of construction jobs to local workers of minority standing at a living wage and ensure long-term retail jobs for local and existing residents at a living wage business mentorship and technical assistance requirements for incoming businesses with high capacity

natural restoration, stormwater district, deep affordability, connectivity, greenway connectivity and increased park space, multi-modal networks, workforce training centers 5.4 A West Denver Pride campaign unites the community and creates a district-level identity. •

5.4.1 Initiate a program for collective community heritage and history by providing a space for residents voices and youth empowerment. •

Case study snippet: DSNI or Interaction Institute for Social Change

5.4.2 Spread information on the regional history of Chicano activism and community organizing in an outreach campaign similar to the HUmans of NY. Potential partners include FRESC, arts initiatives, and DPS education. 5.4.3 Develop art and cultural activities across West Denver to empower the multicultural backgrounds of local residents 5.4.4 Create a digital storytelling project such as a youth-led interviewing process that links to the Cultural Center in the SAP and the Mariposa experience 5.4.5 Establish a community capital center, which counts and values all forms of capital and establishes direction for investing, growing and reinvesting of community capital.

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

6. Food for Thought Food availability and affordability, in addition to healthy living, are critical to the health outcomes of a community. The availability of fresh local produce is limited in the district, and the cultural resources and diversity of the area have not been harnessed as a community asset that spurs the local economy. Food deserts and low health measures faced by West Denver residents cannot be overcome by any single strategy and will require an integrated platform to address the entire local food and food waste system, from production to consumption to disposal. Several ongoing efforts in Denver have created incredible opportunities to address food access in West Denver. Urban farming efforts that tap into the cultural imperatives of the Hispanic and Somali-Bantu populations have initiated a local urban food system that can be the basis for further initiatives. Denver’s sustainability goal for 20% localized food by 2020 and the Colorado Food Guild’s efforts to develop local food systems are both ambitious and transformative. These concepts will require unified efforts including consumer and producer education, distribution and food waste infrastructure, access to resources, policy, and addressing consumer culture. West Denver can become the model for a local food system transition. The district scale provides both the opportunity to transform the local health conditions, food accessibility, and nutrition education and the scale of infrastructure to assess replicability and scalability to meet Denver and Colorado Food Guild’s objectives. A sustainable agricultural program should be designed to grow and support local food systems by connecting local far ms, producer s, and apprentices to local restaurants, institutions, and people with a hunger for farm fresh food and goods. Local distribution and food market can create a new economic sector, jobs, and entrepreneurial activities. 6.1 West Denver is a model in local food initiatives and tomorrow’s urban food system infrastructure, helping reach the MHBA goal of increase from 1 to 10% of food consumption and the Colorado Office of Sustainability goal of 20% by 2020. Potential partners include Mile High Business Alliance, Colorado Food Guild, Revision, Denver Urban Gardens, Cultivate Health-Aria, GrowHaus, LiveWell Westwood, Colorado Health Foundation, Denver FRESH, Denver SEEDS, SW Improvement Council. 6.1.1 Getting Started Example-- Host the Local Food Think Tank to focus on the district-scale and formulate the models and infrastructure needed for scalability and replicability. DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

6.1.2 Secure land for sustainable production in agricultural land surrounding Denver by establishing rural-urban partnerships and innovative delivery systems for sustainable local food system 6.1.3 Transform vacant lots and marginalized land to urban agriculture that models local best practices (e.g.,. with Colorado Grown) for soil management (composting), waste management, water management, energy use and 6.1.4 Develop urban food system infrastructure for potential scale-up to city and state goals and use area food hubs and new development sites as catalysts for food waste management models. Potential partners include DHA, St. Anthony’s Redevelopment, BIDs and BuCu West. 6.1.5 Support and leverage resources for local food-related entrepreneurship in production and distribution. Potential Partners include Colorado Food Guild, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union and cooperative development models. 6.2 Hunger is significantly reduced in West Denver 6.2.1 Leverage resources for Revision’s urban and backyard farm efforts 6.2.2 Strengthen and expand local food and nutrition education initiatives including: • GrowHaus, Denver Urban Gardens] • Snap Into Health – mobile assistance intake system • Hunger free Colorado • LiveWell Westwood • SW Improvement Council 6.2.3 Support food banks and safety net services through technical assistance and increased resources. Potential Partners include the Office of Strategic Partnerships and produceforpantries.com 6.2.4 Support health and wellness initiatives in Westwood, DHA and Decatur SAP. Potential partners include DHA’s healthy living initiative, Wellness in Westwood, Colorado Health Fund DHS and Cultivate Health Centerprecedent Regis. 6.3 West Denver includes food hubs that serve as regional destinations for cultural activities 6.3.1 Secure funding and implement a partnership to support City Kitchen and Revisions efforts to develop food hubs in current food deserts 6.3.2 Create food hubs that sEnerve as regional attractions because they integrate the marketplace, cultural events, culinary classes, and provide space for food entrepreneurs to sell their products. Potential partners include MHBA. •

Provide microlending opportunities to support local entrepreneurs invested in international food distribution

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Section 2 - Integration Framework

• • • •

Establish job training programs in conjunction with food hubs for urban farming, distribution jobs Couple food hub markets with cooking and cultural education classes [The Garden] Launch youth leadership and business programs to strengthen youth involvement in food system development GrowHaus Seed to Seed and Micro-farmer programs

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Section 3- Appendix

Appendix • Noisette Rose • hyperlink to phase 1 report • suitability maps examples • CityCraft Core Beliefs

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Section 3- Appendix

Denver CityCraft Phase 1 Report can be viewed at:

- http://issuu.com/citycraftventures/docs/denver_citycraft_phase_1

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Section 3- Appendix

Noisette Rose

The Noisette Rose was created to provide a flexible tool to facilitate goal setting and measurement and to chart the success of this holistic integrated process with specific measurable criteria. The Rose is a graphic representation that includes both quantitative and qualitative measurements of the components of a planning process or building project within a community. The Rose is composed of groupings of individual metrics to gauge the varying success of specific criteria for a project evaluation. These criteria are grouped in alignment with the Triple Bottom Line: the first grouping represents the people (responsiveness to social needs), the second grouping represents the planet (environmental performance), and the third grouping represents prosperity (true economic performance). A smaller, fourth grouping represents the communities criteria (in this example, the Noisette Community of North Charleston, SC). It is envisioned that a Rose would be created for each planning effort or building project. The stakeholders for a project would identify which issues are most critical in each area and what metrics should be utilized to set goals and measure results. The complexity of the Rose will change from project to project: a small residential rehab may only have three issues (radials) to be measured in each sector, while a commercial or institutional project may have 10-16 in each sector. The complexity of measurement may also increase if a project is being supported by a university, national lab or outside institution. The individual metrics are presented as radial arms extending from the center out toward the perimeter of the circle. As a specific goal (radial arm) is measured, the length of the arm is extended as performance increases. Some goals will be quantitative and relatively easy to measure, such as energy efficiency. Other qualitative goals, like stimulating community pride, might be measured by surveying residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responses on a scale of one to ten. The Rose shown above illustrates a hypothetical example of a school building, which is enacting the principle of Schools as Centers of Community. Each radial line demonstrates the level of achievement in a particular goal. The fact that the image resembles an open rose indicates exemplary performance. The rose shape for a poorly preforming school would show points closer to the center (resembling a rose bud) or asymmetrical with one side of the rose collapsed. The primary advantages of the rose are its flexibility and the simplicity and clarity of the graphic image.

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Section 3- Appendix Suitability Map Example 1

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Section 3- Appendix Suitability Map Example 2

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Section 3- Appendix

CityCraft Core Beliefs: Long Term Standards by Which We Exist and Operate Shared Vision - The vision and success for community comes from within the community itself. Collaboration - Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination and integration. Embedded Capital - The greatest source of capital for urban revitalization already exists within a community. Appropriate Scale - Take an integrated approach that results in a scale that takes in all interactions. Openness and Transparency - Continuous measurement, research and accountability. Sustainability - Success requires an approach that addresses the long term economic, social, and environmental health of our cities. Resiliency - Building local capacity and empowerment through targeted career development resulting in wealth creation that is reinvested locally.

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info@citycraftventures.com www.citycraftventures.com

DRAFT Denver CityCraft Phase 2

Profile for CityCrafting

Denver Phase 2 Report  

CityCraft partnered with The City and County of Denver, The Gates Family Foundation, The Denver Housing Authority, The Denver Foundation and...

Denver Phase 2 Report  

CityCraft partnered with The City and County of Denver, The Gates Family Foundation, The Denver Housing Authority, The Denver Foundation and...

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