Denver, it's time for your extreme urban makeover, courtesy of the city's dean of development, Ken Schroeppel. Schroeppel has long been chronicling Denver's shifting downtown on his website and blog DenverInfill.com, and now he's gone one step further with the launch DenverUrbanism.com -- an exploration of local city-building in general and a call to arms to "push the Mile High City to the next level of urban greatness."
Mild-mannered city planner by day, Schroeppel by night is a fervent online raconteur, championing and sometimes critiquing Denver's shifting urban landscape. Over the past few years, his site has become the blog of record for all local development issues -- quite a feat for a nonprofit labor of love Schroeppel tackles in his off-hours. Over the past year DenverInfill.com received a facelift, garnering a new, flashy logo and an expanded writer roster covering a wider range of development topics. But Schroeppel apparently has wider aspirations -- hence the recent launch of DenverUrbanism.com.
"DenverInfill has such a strong brand in the community, and that brand is focused on infill projects," says Schroeppel. "DenverUrbanism will take broader urban topics and run with them." According to Schroeppel, DenverInfill will revert to its original infill development beat -- a beat that is pretty darn quiet these days thanks to the economy -- while DenverUrbanism will be free to tackle everything else that pertains to the city's urban future.
In other words, DenverUrbanism will report on topics ranging from architecture and transit to public spaces and bike networks. To help him cover it all, Schroeppel is amassing a small army of contributors comprised of local and national experts alike.
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And all of it, Schroeppel admits, will come with an ulterior motive -- helping Denver reach its full urban potential. "Collectively, it will start to build an online community of people who will cover all the bases of urbanism as well as build a pro-urbanism agenda," he says. Schroppel has seen enough of Denver to grasp the city's promise -- and to understand that so far, Denver's not living up to it. So, as contenders line up to duke it out in Denver's mayoral race, Schroeppel's hoping DenverUrbanism will convince people that what the city needs right now in a leader isn't just someone who will balance budgets and play nice with the business community, but someone with big, bold plans for the Mile High City.
And, as always, Schroeppel plans to do it all without quitting his day job. What a show-off.