Denver, Colorado

At 4,700 acres (1,900 ha), the transformation of Stapleton Airport into a mixed-use urban infill community constitutes the nation's largest redevelopment project.  It also, per the insistence of local citizens and conscious design, has become a model of sustainability.

Working with a team of nationally-known consultants, HDR | Calthorpe gave form to a project that sets new standards of environmental responsibility for the Denver region.  Mixed-use transit-oriented neighborhoods were planned as an alternative to the sprawling single-use tracts typical of new development, each with a distinct architectural character and feel.  A pedestrian-first design philosophy has generated narrow walkable streets, a vigorous mix of office, retail, civic, and residential uses, and plentiful open space in each neighborhood.  Regional open spaces define and connect each of the project’s various distinct neighborhoods.  All new neighborhoods follow the traditions of Denver's historic residential and commercial districts, and take their architectural cues from the local vernacular.

Stapleton preserves and links sensitive habitats, recycles airport materials such as runway concrete and asphalt, and increases development intensity around a planned light rail stop.  The project has won numerous awards.

Green Courts homes cluster around a shared common space.
Regional open space both connects and defines Stapleton’s various neighborhoods.
Under the Stars Concert at 'Founders Green' in East 29th Avenue Town Center
Founders Green, 29th Avenue and Row Homes
An obsolete airport was transformed into Denver’s newest in-town neighborhood

Project Summary



Forest City (Denver, Colorado)


Neighborhood Plan | Adaptive Use


Revitalization of 4,700 ac (1,900 ha) former airport site | 12,000 DUs | 7.8m sq ft (725k sq m) office | 4.3m sq ft (400k sq m) retail


Ongoing (1999 - present) | over 3,600 homes occupied (10,000 residents)