Sun Valley EcoDistrict

IBE is helping to facilitate the Sun Valley EcoDistrict project team and stakeholders to reach regenerative goals set by community members over the last eight years. Goals include integrated research management in focus areas such as food systems, educational and economic capacity building, and district housing.

The Sun Valley EcoDistrict will be 100 acres of mixed use redevelopment, with a focus on affordable housing and equity, in Denver’s metro core. IBE supports the Denver Housing Authority and CityCraft® Ventures in integrated research approaches to bioregional specific research questions with other academic institutions on the Front Range.

The Sun Valley Neighborhood in Denver, CO is undergoing a massive redevelopment. This historically low-density, low-income community along the banks of the Platte River is poised to create a new model of community transformation, with equity, environmental justice and public health as its driving forces.

Sun Valley is a largely industrial district is home to a diverse population, including Denver’s largest concentration of recent immigrants who bring their local customs and culture to the area, yet face language, social, educational and economic barriers. Located along the Platte River and just south of the Denver Bronco’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, the area is geographically isolated from downtown Denver by a major highway, infrastructure and a river, with few points of access.

When it is completed, Sun Valley will be transformed from a high poverty, high vacancy district with large swaths of surface parking, to a next-generation mixed-income neighborhood, home to 3,000 residents, 300 jobs and new or enhanced neighborhood services, making it the City’s most vibrant and diverse mixed-use community.

Outcomes:

  • Choice Neighborhoods Initiative planning grant from HUD that allowed the DHA and the City to continue to bring partners like EcoDistricts to the table, helping drive revitalization while helping to repair the decades-long pattern of disinvestment.
  • Integrated design project team and stakeholder facilitation focused on regenerative economy, cultural amenities, food systems and capacity building.

Deliverables:

  • Project team reports and recommendations for successful implementation of the community created “Grow Priorities”, which focus on different areas of regenerative capacity and associated metrics.
  • IBE Fellow research focus on a thorough carbon accounting of the district, taking into account areas such as food systems, transportation, building stock, land use and carbon sequestration, and others.