Every day, tens of thousands of Denverites and Mile High visitors stroll the bustling 16th Street Mall and the tree-lined sidewalks that crisscross Cherry Creek. But pedestrians aren’t as abundant elsewhere in our fair city where residents are quick to hop in their cars. A new organization called WalkDenver—founded by local architect Gosia Kung—aims to change that four-wheels-first habit.

Kung wants to mold the Mile High City into a “network of well-connected neighborhoods that
are people-focused and culturally vibrant.” The key, she says, is to give people a reason to stay on foot—and she’s hoping that WalkDenver’s Better Block Project on June 23 will help. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., existing businesses like cafes, art galleries, and a bicycle repair shop will open for one day only in empty storefronts along 25th Avenue between Federal Boulevard and Eliot Street. The idea is to demonstrate the benefits of a walker-friendly city block. “There are several vacant spaces there that we’re hoping will fill with tenants,” Kung says. “We want to make it appear that things are happening there, and will continue happening.”