The site situated between downtown and the new pier is envisioned as a seamless yet varied experience connecting the city with the bay. The design proposal encompasses three interlinked pedestrian experiences that encourage people to enjoy the area on foot: an urban pedestrian spine that reaches from the downtown to the pierhead, a family-oriented park, and enlivened waterfront edges. With more than 5,300 feet of water frontage, these hard and soft edges provide a variety of settings for gathering and interacting with the water. The existing condition devotes more than 60% of the 20-acre area to streets and parking; the plan for the waterfront site significantly reduces roadways and parking and increases engaging pedestrian use, shade, and vegetation and manages storm water on site.
In 1995 when the opening of Denver International Airport meant the closing of Stapleton International Airport, Denver had the unique opportunity to transform 7.5 square miles of runways, concourses and terminals into a beautiful new community. It would be the largest urban in-fill redevelopment in the country and, to this day, one of the largest in-fill projects ever.
The building of Stapleton started as a collaborative effort by business leaders, civic officials and citizens who wanted to have a say in how Denver should grow. They spent countless hours and much of their own money creating what became known as the Green Book, the guiding principles for the redevelopment of Stapleton. In 1998, the city of Denver selected Forest City to be the master developer for Stapleton and to make the vision of the Green Book a reality. In May 2001 the redevelopment began.
The idea was to take the best things about Denver’s classic neighborhoods – parks, welcoming front porches, ally-loaded garages, architectural diversity, tree-lined streets, more parks – and continue those urban patterns into new Denver neighborhoods. While applying some new thinking in the process. Like the use of water-wise landscaping and energy-efficient building standards on everything from homes to commercial spaces. Affordable housing, both for rent and sale, fitting seamlessly into the neighborhoods. And perhaps the most sustainable idea of them all: a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environment with everything you need a short walk or bike ride away.
Two decades later, Stapleton stands as a model for urban redevelopment worldwide.
Buzzing with bike races, farmers markets and concerts in the park, Stapleton now thrives at a grassroots level thanks to residents and business owners each adding their own touch. It has become a place that’s far better than anyone could have planned.
Greenville has an unusually vibrant downtown, active with local businesses, restaurants and entertainment. Main Street was remade by Lawrence Halprin in the 70’s and remains a handsome street with a mature canopy of Willow Oaks. The corner of Main and Washington was the home of the Woolworths lunch counter that was the site of a famous sit-in by four young black men in 1960. Since then this corner has been the center of town, even though the lunch counter went to museum and the building is gone.
One of the keys to Greenville’s revitalization was the creation in the early 80’s of the Piazza Bergamo, named after a sister city. The Piazza was home to events and concerts for 25 years but had become worn, and the concerts had devolved into weekly loud beer parties. It was time for change. Civitas was originally engaged by Hughes Development to conceive of a new role for the public space as part of a new mixed-use development on the Woolworths site.
Civitas led a community engagement process that determined that people were ready for a more restrained, comfortable and attractive plaza for daily use, with the potential for smaller occasional events. Seating, sun and shade, water, color, and plants were used to make a place to wait, meet, chat, have a meal, and enjoy the active street life that makes Greenville enjoyable.
The plaza design is themed from the history of the region as a place of weaving. Layers and folds of patterns, a long fountain and urban couch form that spine that attracts people to engage and relax.