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Urban Land Institute makes grants for public art and placemaking projects in Colorado Springs and Denver’s Montbello neighborhood

News from ULI Colorado

Urban Land Institute makes grants for public art and placemaking projects in Colorado Springs and Denver’s Montbello neighborhood

For immediate release: January 12, 2018

Contact: Marianne Eppig or Sarah Franklin, 303.893.1760, Colorado@uli.org

Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, Urban Land Institute (ULI) Colorado is funding two projects designed to improve physical activity and public health in low-income neighborhoods.

The pair of $5,000 grants will be used to:

  1. Create at least four new wayfinding signs directing pedestrians and cyclists from Denver’s Montbello neighborhood (pop. 33,000) to recreational opportunities in the 16,000-acre Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore addresses the crowd at Montbello’s dedication ceremony

“Montbello is fortunate to have many outdoor and open space opportunities for residents to enjoy,” said Stacie Gilmore, Denver city councilwoman for District 11. “The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is an urban gem. We are excited to highlight it through the ULI Building Healthy Places grant. New wayfinding signage on central roadways and a community walking event to the Refuge will expand our residents’ healthy lifestyle choices.”

  1. In the South Academy Boulevard area (pop. 38,000) of southeast Colorado Springs, hire local artists to engage local youth to design and execute two to three murals in areas with recurring graffiti and/or potential for activation. Sites under consideration include the underused Sand Creek Greenway.

“We are excited to receive this funding from the ULI and the Colorado Health Foundation,” says Mina Liebert, public health planner with El Paso County Public Health. “Southeast Colorado Springs is a vibrant, diverse community. Public art plays an important role in helping people connect to their neighborhood and their neighbors. We plan to solicit input from local artists and hope to create something that encourages neighborhood conversation and use of public spaces.”

The grants will implement key recommendations from Building Healthy Places Workshops facilitated by ULI Colorado in December 2016. ULI has conducted 11 Building Healthy Places Workshops and advisory panels in Colorado in Adams County, Arvada, Colorado Springs, Denver, Edwards, Englewood, Lamar, Loveland, Pueblo, and Westminster. In 2017-18, four additional national ULI panels are being scheduled in Colorado.

With more than 1,200 members, ULI Colorado is one of the largest District Councils (field offices) of the 40,000-member global ULI, a nonprofit 501-c-3 nonprofit whose research and educational mission is to provide leadership in responsible land use. ULI members embrace 26 different professions, including architects, commercial real estate lenders, developers, planners, and public officials.

The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.

In 2013, recognizing the connection between physical health and the built environment, the Foundation launched the Healthy Places initiative with the Urban Land Institute. This has resulted in influential national ULI advisory panels in Arvada, Denver and Lamar; a series of new publications on principles and best practices; and local panels in Adams County, Colorado Springs, Denver, Edwards, Loveland, Pueblo, and Westminster. These advisory services have resulted in measurable physical changes in these communities that are leading to the creation of healthier places.

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