New Podcast: How Denver’s Regional Mobility Planning Is Creating a Better Community

Mobility Choice Blueprint Explores the Transportation of the Future in the Only Public-Private Partnership of Its Kind

Westminster Station | people walking under transit rail

Growing populations and new modes of transportation are rapidly changing our everyday lives and reshaping our communities in ways we couldn’t imagine a decade ago. HDR helped public transportation agencies and private sector technology companies tackle that change head-on in the Denver area. That community’s “mobility blueprint” may suggest a new approach for other metropolitan cities wrestling with the same issues.

The development of the blueprint and its implications are the focus of the latest episode of our Speaking of Design podcast, which shares the stories of engineers and architects who are changing communities through imagination and innovation.

Denver’s partnership is the only effort of its kind in the United States, with major transportation agencies and the business community collaborating to prepare for the new mobility future. The Colorado Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation District, Denver Regional Council of Governments and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce selected HDR to lead the Mobility Choice Blueprint effort.

The study assessed technology from hybrid and electric vehicles to self-driving cars, using in-depth community ethnography interviews — a series of intensive discussions with residents — and scenario modeling to gauge the technological impact on mobility and transportation. Those involved saw it as an opportunity not just to take better advantage of new technologies in moving people from point A to point B, but a chance to use that technology to create a better, more livable community.

“One of the key features of the Denver Mobility Choice Blueprint is that we looked not just at transportation and technology, but also at how to make a better community,” said Rick Pilgrim, HDR’s transportation business development director. “When one starts to think about how you make a more livable community, you come at it from a much different perspective.”

“You have the ability either to shape your future or you can sit back and let the future happen to you,” said transportation planner Justin Robbins. “And I think doing a plan like the Denver mobility project is the first step in trying to shape the future into a way that you want.”

The final blueprint was released in February, along with a list of tactical actions to be undertaken by participants through 2030.

Listen to the full podcast