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South Platte River Greenway Master Planning

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The River North (RINO) and River South (RISO) Greenway Master Plans focus on the future of the South Platte River Corridor through Denver, Colorado. The mission of the two master plans is to initiate and on-going collaborative effort between citizens, property owners, and numerous public and private organizations. The RINO master plan was adopted by the Denver Parks and Recreation Department as a vision and guiding document in April 2009. The RISO master plan was finalized January 2010.

The RINO Plan encompasses three miles of the South Platte River between the City of Cuernavaca Park at 20th Street and the northern boundary of the City and County of Denver adjacent to Riverside Cemetery. The RISO Plan encompasses the remaining eight miles of the river within Denver from 20th Street to the southern City boundary. The purpose of these plans is to build upon greenway improvements that have been completed since the 1970's and to identify opportunities to “Renew Our Vision” of what the Denver South Platte River Greenway can be in the future. The existing character of this reach of the River is primarily commercial and light industrial in nature. However, new development opportunities are already spreading from the Central Platte Valley near Confluence Park into the planning area.

Strategic stakeholder and public involvement resulted in defining some of the following RINO and RISO goals:

Create a healthy, habitable, and connected river-focused urban environment

Enhance the safety of the river corridor and the surrounding area

Build on the current success and activity along the central South Platte River Valley

Create a parks and open space model for urban living that reflects the history of Denver

Utilize existing and proposed parks to create a sense of place and community focal points

Connect neighborhoods and create links to adjacent communities and regional trail corridors

Unique mixed-use developments have found success along the banks of the South Platte by providing a blend of residential living amongst commercial office space. Additional mixed-use developments are either being planned or have begun construction. New developments within RINO provide both challenges and opportunities for Denver's South Platte River Greenway. Recommendations developed for the RINO and RISO Master Plans will help the City and other stakeholders achieve the consensus-built vision for the South Platte River corridor through Denver. Sustainable development practices and management of our water resources will promote economic development, community involvement, and environmental stewardshipReturning the Platte to the People (Shoemaker 1981).

Keywords: Habitat suitability; community vision planning; existing habitat evaluation; urban river restoration

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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