Industrial facilities, train tracks, and highways cut through the Sun Valley neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. It’s one of the most economically depressed areas in the state – with most of its 1,500 residents living in public housing.

But change is on the way. Sun Valley is one of nine neighborhoods nationwide that’s been selected for redevelopment into an eco-district.

Linkhart: “We’d like to prove that sustainability can work in a low income community, and we’re also looking for ways to diversify neighborhoods like this.”

That’s Doug Linkhart, Executive Director of the Denver Environmental Health Department. He says the plan is to revitalize Sun Valley with mixed-use development. It will provide energy-efficient housing, increased open space, and recreation along the Platte River, as well as employment opportunities at new businesses such as local grocery stores – all without displacing current residents.

The planners are also working to reduce the carbon pollution causing global warming, as well as air and noise pollution caused by local industry.

If successful, Sun Valley’s green transformation may be replicated in other parts of Denver and beyond.


Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Screenshot from Denver presentation.

More Resources
Denver’s low-income Sun Valley targeted for “eco district” overhaul
$500,000 grant will help Denver polish Sun Valley redevelopment plan
Sun Valley targeted
Denver Housing Authority Press Release (June 14, 2014)

Bruce Lieberman, a long-time journalist, has covered climate change science, policy, and politics for nearly two decades. A newspaper reporter for 20 years, Bruce worked for The San Diego Union-Tribune...