Welcome! This is an exciting time for the spring 2008 Planning Studio Class at the University of Colorado – Denver. The Denver Union Station (DUS) redevelopment is one of the country’s highest-profile projects in recent decades. As the centerpiece of the $4.7 billion, tax-funded FasTracks plan, the station will serve as a multimodal transportation hub for the entire region, integrating both public and private transit systems operating at the local, regional, state and national scales.
A Master Plan for the DUS redevelopment was approved in October 2004 after two years of public consultation. The plan called for concurrent development of over 1 million square feet of office, retail and residential space on a large mixed-use parcel adjacent to the station. The plan also promised to reconfigure the plaza and public spaces surrounding the station, creating a vibrant civic gateway for residents, visitors and commuters.
The plaza’s prominent location affords it unprecedented opportunities, some of which raise interesting dilemmas. Although the space will become a regular stopover for local residents and commuters, it must also serve as a destination for tourists and visitors. While the space will serve as catalyst of economic development, attracting shoppers and restaurant-goers to a 24-hour LoDo, it need also provide opportunities for respite, relaxation and contemplation. Historic preservation of the station and its setting is also a vital component of the redevelopment. Activating the plaza and balancing the needs and desires of all affected populations are integral steps to the project’s sustainable success.