eDEN – ecodesign DENver: Better Streets for All

In response to the covid-19 pandemic, to create more space for personal mobility, dining and socializing while still practicing 6-foot distancing, the City and County of Denver has temporarily expanded public infrastructure into the public right-of-way on select streets throughout the city. With about 10 miles of roadway turned back over to people, Eric and Mallory, two research assistants at the College of Architecture and Planning at University of Colorado Denver are studying these expanded public areas to see who, when, why, and how people are using these spaces. 

The data they collected over the Summer will inform a larger project called eDEN. Extending the current shared streets through time and space, eDEN (ecodesign DENver) is an extensive network of streets closed to thru traffic, punctuated by outdoor dining areas and lined with productive landscapes as well as public art (the Gardens of eDEN). Weaving through the city, within 1 mile of every resident, this distributed park will provide all who live in Denver with access to a vital and vibrant public realm, contributing to improve health and well-being for everyone, while enhancing connections among diverse neighborhoods. In sum, eDEN would render our city more green, clean, healthy, dynamic, inclusive, safe, creative, cool (both kinds!), and connected. It would eventually be a defining feature for this great city. 

Eric DeNardo is a current graduate student at CU Denver studying urban design and planning. He started his career at the California Department of Transportation working on reducing highway impacts to environmental resources and communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. During this work, he realized the impact highways had on the form and character of the city and its landscapes. He is now dedicated to planning and designing streets to provide sustainable transportation options and public places for people to gather.
Mallory Luebke is a recent master’s student from CU Denver’s Political Science and Public Policy school where she focused her studies on sustainable development and ultimately wrote her thesis on the relationship between mobility and land-use patterns through Transit-Oriented Development. Her passion for creating vibrant cities came while working on the POCACITO project in Berlin, researching specific city initiatives, policies, and technologies to reduce their carbon emissions. After returning to the states, Mallory spent a brief time working at a non-profit at the State level, Conservation Colorado, where she worked on policy issues such as advancing Obama’s Clean Power Plan and anti-fracking campaigns. Currently, she is a research assistant for the Dean of CU’s College of Architecture and Planning School where she is focused on the eDEN project. 

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