In November 2018, Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) submitted a grant request to the Colorado Health Foundation for the proposed 303 ArtWay Heritage Trail. Conceived through ULC’s real estate investments in Northeast Park Hill, 303 ArtWay originated from the community’s desire for better connections and increased cultural expression to highlight, preserve and expand the local heritage of NE Denver neighborhoods. Following more than 3 years of community engagement and conceptual planning, ULC launched a revisioning process in May of 2018 to determine community need as it relates to connectivity, mobility and safety.

ULC’s grant request, titled “Activating Space and Improving Connectivity Between 40th & Colorado and Holly Square,” focused on the inclusion of wayfinding, spatial activation and pop up events to launch our 2019 planning and implementation phase. The next calendar year will focus specifically on the four-mile loop between 40th and Colorado and Holly Square. With community engagement at the foundation of ULC’s work, we recognize that to truly serve a community, ULC must fully understand that community and its needs before any lasting and meaningful transformation can occur. Our philosophy of community engagement, coupled with the palpable need for infrastructure improvements in Northeast Park Hill, led ULC to partner with Radian on the future of 303 ArtWay.

Radian is a collaborative design group focused on helping communities find creative solutions to create thriving, equitable and resilient places. With over 20 years of combined experience, Radian’s mission is to advance public engagement, community planning and informed decision making through design and technical assistance. Radian believes vibrant neighborhoods and cities emerge from data-­rich decision­making, design thinking and sound stakeholder engagement. ULC chose Radian as a partner for the initial phase of 303 ArtWay due to their core areas of expertise in: process & participatory design, stakeholder engagement, data informed decision making, tool development & innovation, training and capacity building. Radian has worked on more than 50 placemaking, livability and capacity building projects.

With funding from the Colorado Health Foundation, ULC will work with community members to increase connectivity, safety and walkability in the area neighboring the heavily trafficked 40th and Colorado transit station – all while celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the surrounding neighborhoods. Our ultimate projected outcome is that the activated sites at 40th and Colorado and Holly Square will act as anchor points, clearly distinguishing 303 ArtWay. With wayfinding incorporated between these destinations, the 303 ArtWay will provide local residents in NE Denver directions to services, amenities, local businesses and transit. The finalized 4 mile loop will soon offer residents alternative and safe pathways that do not require a vehicle. Residents will be able to access local shopping districts, cultural and recreation facilities, schools, numerous historical locations, and transit in a safe, active and efficient way. Thank you to Colorado Health Foundation for accepting our grant proposal – we are looking forward to our upcoming year with 303 ArtWay!