Today’s Market Update: Why Denver Won’t Be Mediocre in 2040, Part 6 of 6
In this, the last, installment of our series on Denver’s plan to save us from mediocrity in the year 2040, we’ll look at the Comprehensive Plan goal for health and activity.
Despite our reputation as being an outdoor-oriented community, rates of obesity are going up, access to open spaces and recreational services are going down. And so is our parkland-per-capita, which is a fancy term for how much park area there is per person. This is a serious situation, right? Because what is Denver is known for, if not our healthy, active, and outdoor lifestyle!
Letting our connection to health and the outdoors fail would put Denver on a fast track to the kind of mediocrity that is typical of cities that have not managed growth with a strong vision.
What’s the City going to do about this?
- Re-prioritize urban forest, parks, and outdoor areas as very important areas and further develop even more walkable, bikeable areas. Oh, and make sure that these are safe places to be.
- Make sure that access to these outdoor spaces are provided to all residents in all areas (no geographic, socioeconomic, or other favoritism!)
- Expand efforts to make sure that community-driven, fresh and healthy food is available in all areas. Particularly those areas that have had limited access to these kinds of foods.
- Increase access to health services by using community resources (faith-based, neighborhood, schools, etc.) to reach more people and offer better health resources.
- Integrate health impacts into city policy across disciplines and departments.
Mediocrity is the unfortunate fate of so many growing cities: places that, at one point in their history, had true character and charm but lost it. Mediocrity is, typically, the default state of a city when there is no clear vision for growth that integrates the needs of the residents and visitors in a way that’s sustainable and appropriate to geography and community. A vision, plus commitment and the resources to achieve it, will be the winning trio to make sure that Denver stays the legendary city we love.
If you’re curious and want the quick version of the Comprehensive Plan, check out the executive summary. Really want to understand more? Read the whole comprehensive plan – it’s easy to skim, and interesting!