Cities and communities need of support and technical assistance in completing projects, but are often hard-pressed for time, staff, or budget. Hometown Colorado allows places to tap into the talents and energy of University of Colorado Denver students and faculty in order to accomplish critical projects. This working relationship between cities and higher ed institutions puts student talent to work in order to strengthen communities.

The Hometown Colorado Initiative is an annual, yearlong partnership between the University of Colorado Denver and a city, county, regional partnership or special district in Colorado. Partners propose a list of challenging projects/issues, which are tackled by creative, passionate students and faculty across multiple disciplines. The successful applicant will benefit from between 20,000 and 40,000 hours of work by CU Denver students and faculty members, working to advance the partner’s projects.

Students bring energy, enthusiasm, and innovative approaches to community issues and needs. Hometown Colorado’s primary value is derived from collaborations resulting in on-the-ground impacts and forward momentum in communities ready to take on projects that enhance livability. Hometown Colorado partnerships can include courses in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Urban and Regional Planning, Public Administration, Public Health, Business, Geography and Digital Arts & Media. Additional disciplines may be added, depending on the partner’s needs and faculty interest.

Potential partners are encouraged to propose a wide range of projects that think about “livability” very broadly. Other programs like HCI have included designs for public buildings and open spaces, redevelopment planning and visioning, waste and storm water management schemes, school yard renovations, transportation connectivity analyses, civic engagement techniques, municipal code recommendations, strategic communications strategies, bicycle transportation infrastructure analyses and design, public art planning, transit-oriented development and master plan designs. Projects can be generated by a wide variety of city departments, including planning and development, public works, economic development, parks and recreation, transportation, and public safety, among others.

2016-17 Annual Report Now Available

The annual report highlighting the partnership with the City of Arvada this past year is now available here. The report provides an overview of the five projects completed over the 2016-17 Academic Year, through the efforts of CU Denver faculty and students. The projects, identified by city staff as priorities focused on water conservation and housing.

The projects included designs for Garden In A Box, which replaces turf with landscape that requires little water, designs for a park, a housing survey, GIS mapping of potential sites for multifamily housing, and a water budget analysis. An estimated 16,000 student hours were spent working on community projects. Students benefit by gaining real world experience and knowing that their work is of value to the City of Arvada.

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