Englewood to be part of PBS series

Posted 7/24/09

Englewood received a surprise visit from a team from the Media and Policy Center on site to shoot footage to be included in a 2010 Public …

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Englewood to be part of PBS series


Englewood received a surprise visit from a team from the Media and Policy Center on site to shoot footage to be included in a 2010 Public Broadcasting System special about public space and public health.

Harry Wiland, head of the team, met with City Manager Gary Sears and Mayor Jim Woodward for about 90 minutes on July 20.

“He asked us about the project and about Englewood in general in the light of how a community makes the transition from transforming an aging shopping mall into a transit-oriented development,” he said.

The focus of the film crew was CityCenter Englewood. The project is on the site of the former Cinderella City, a 1960s shopping mall that was the largest enclosed mall west of the Mississippi when it was built.

The mall owner took a tax credit and donated the dead mall to the city. The city spent the money to clear the site and hired Miller Weingarten as master developer for a project to create a transit-oriented development.

The mixed use development centered around the light rail station and bus transfer station to promote use of mass transit. The project includes residential and retail components as well as public art and open space. The development was designed to be pedestrian friendly plus there is access to a route leading to the bike path that runs from Chatfield Reservoir to downtown Denver.

“We were excited to come to Englewood and look at an example of how a community can retrofit an area formerly occupied by a dead mall with creativity and innovation to create a transit-oriented development,” Wiland said in a phone interview. “CityCenter Englewood is an example of how the city, residents and developers worked together to create a project that enhanced the area and was good for the community.”

He said the Englewood project paid attention to providing public areas, green space and easy access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Media and Policy Foundation is a foundation specializing in production of presentations concerning socially relevant projects.

Wiland and Dale Bell founded the organization and Richard Jackson spearheaded the proposal that is currently being produced. Jackson, professor and chairman of Environmental Health Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The idea was look at ways to balance public space with public health in the light of technology as well as the way construction and development is being done to promote use of mass transit as well as creating pedestrian and cyclist-friendly projects to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities.

Wiland said CityCenter Englewood is a prime example of a mixed-use development centered around light rail station and bus transfer point.

“The project was established with the building done with concern for the enviroment and public amenities to promote walking and cycling,” he said. “The result was a destination instead of a utilitarian development that is a credit and asset to the community.”


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