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An efficient and predictable development pattern

Each of the region's cities, towns and counties contributes in different ways to the metro area's economy, resiliency, quality of life and sense of place. As the region grows, maintaining place-based distinctions will protect the ability of residents and businesses to choose the types of communities that meet their distinct needs and values.

A vibrant stylized depiction of a busy residential neighborhood. In the foreground, an older woman waters her blooming flowers. Farther in the background are children playing with their dog, an adult teaching their child how to ride a bike and someone walking their dog.

Desired outcomes

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The region is comprised of diverse, livable communities.

The Denver metro region will continue to embrace its diverse urban, suburban and rural communities. Varied housing and transportation options, access to employment and a range of services and recreational opportunities will promote livable communities that meet the needs of people of all ages, incomes and abilities.

an image of the Denver community

Orderly urban development in the Denver region.

Through a coordinated effort between DRCOG and local communities, new urban development occurs in an orderly and compact pattern within regionally designated growth areas.

A process to identify local and regional urban growth priorities helps the region manage the growth of the region’s urban footprint. While locally adopted policies and market demand determine the location of urban development, local commitments to coordinate and collaborate on the expansion of urban growth lead to better use of regional resources for infrastructure, reduced regional vehicle travel and conservation of open land.

an aerial photo of the Denver community

Pedestrians, cars and cyclists commute through the Denver region.

Connected urban centers and multimodal corridors throughout the region accommodate a growing share of the region’s housing and employment. The location and context of each center define its unique character. They are transit-, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly places that contain a diverse mix of land uses and are denser than their surrounding areas; and are designed to allow people of all ages, incomes and abilities to access a range of housing, employment and services without sole reliance on having to drive. Urban centers provide public spaces where people can gather; help reduce per capita vehicle miles traveled, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption; and respect and support existing neighborhoods. The region includes a wide array of urban centers including, but not limited to traditional downtowns, transit station areas, employment centers and smaller scale compact mixed-use development in suburban settings.

Denver Public Library:

Community connection and lifelong learning for older adults.

Metro Vision supports livable communities that meet the needs of residents of all ages, incomes and abilities. Through the Older Adult Services program, the Denver Public Library provides a range of opportunities for lifelong learning, intergenerational experiences and community connection for a diverse population of older adult residents. In 2019, the library launched a research-based, inclusive curriculum specifically designed to enhance quality of life of the older adults it serves.

Performance measures

Performance measures are critically important in monitoring the region’s progress toward Metro Vision themes and outcomes. They are used to obtain regular measurement of outcomes and results. They also generate reliable data to help local governments and partners evaluate policies, programs and initiatives. As part of its reporting on plan progress toward an efficient and predictable development pattern, DRCOG will use the metrics outlined on the Metro Vision performance measures page.

MeasureWhere are we today? (baseline)Baseline yearWhere do we want to be? (target)Target year
Share of the region’s housing located in urban centers10.0%201425.0%2040
Share of the region’s employment located in urban centers36.3%201450.0%2040
Regional population-weighted density4,850 people per square mile201425% increase from 20142040