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Thursday, November 29, 2007

 

Colfax and New Urbanism

A recent article I read in the New York Times talked about how Denver was trying to clean up Colfax Ave. Being from Colorado and spending time downtown I know what they are talking about. You never know what you may find walking down the street. The article says that Colfax is the Rocky Mountains equivalent Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and Greenwich Village in New York. Greenwich and Haight-Ashbury have changed due to gentrification, but Colfax remains the same. The city of Denver is trying gentrify Colfax by rezoning, increasing police and other policies they think might work. They have taken steps to rezone blighted areas so that they can turn it into Denver's Main Street.

From an economic standpoint if people thought there was a bright future for Colfax the government would not have to step in and blight areas. These areas would be bought at a price that both the buyer and seller would agree upon. Some one would have all ready seen the incentive to redevelop that area--not government. Crime is also a big concern for redevelopment along Colfax. The city has increased police and crime has dropped, but that did not make anyone want to move there. The people who all ready live in that area are aware of the crime. I think it is something they factored in before they decided to live there. The city can try all it wants to make Colfax Main Street America, but the reality is people have all ready decided what they want and it is not Colfax. They have moved away and have realized they are better off for the decisions they have made.

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