The Future of Denver

The Mile High City is consistently hailed as one of the best places to live in the United States—and who are we to argue? But with an additional 1.5 million people expected to move to the Front Range by 2035, our treasured lifestyle may be at risk. We dug through reams of city-planning documents, talked to dozens of Coloradans, and put together a vision for the future of our city. Now, it's time to make this vision a reality.

December 2009

Servicing the Suburbs

How better collaboration between Denver and its neighbors will save money in the long run.

Essential services such as police, fire, water, and street maintenance are expensive: The city of Denver spends more than $400 million annually on public safety alone. But since Denver's expenditure footprint is limited to its current boundaries, the younger suburbs are often forced to duplicate the same pricey services for their citizens.

To address this, Denver and Glendale have created a novel arrangement: collaboration. In 2006, Denver absorbed Glendale's fire department, adding $1.8 million annually to Denver's coffers while saving Glendale about $800,000 each year. Glendale used part of these funds to help build the rugby stadium at Infinity Park that, Mayor Hickenlooper says, "now benefits Denver and the whole area."

Hickenlooper says this type of collaboration will save money in the long term, but not without challenges. Englewood, for example, has different valves on its fire hydrants than Denver. Still, the mayor remains confident. "Over the next 30 or 40 or 50 years," he says, "we'll figure out how we can do more services on a regional level." Accomplishing that will transform the Front Range from a disparate collection of towns into a more cohesive, efficient community.