Smart Neighborhood for an Airport City

PEÑA Station Next is Denver’s newest mixed-use, Transit Oriented Development (TOD) situated along the University of Colorado A Line. It is intended as a new ‘center’ and catalyst for future development within the Denver Gateway Area. Its proximity to the airport makes it both the first and last impression visitors have of Denver. It is imperative that this neighborhood design exemplifies the progressive urban design thinking necessary to create an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable neighborhood of tomorrow’s great cities. Panasonic has developed a demonstration center on site with the intention of building Pena Station as a leading example of smart city design.

The urban design approach is to create an interconnected mixed-use neighborhood centered on the commuter rail platform while providing exceptional access from surrounding community. This is achieved by creating a hierarchy of streets and public spaces that form an interconnected pattern of walkable and comfortable public spaces.

The urban form of this TOD is focused on three distinct and connected public spaces; Pena Station Plaza, immediately adjacent to the train platform, is designed to function as both a community gathering space as well as a major intermodal transportation hub. The heart of the community, Aviation Park is a 2.5-acre urban park surrounded by a variety of land uses that will ensure users and public oversight throughout the day. Aviation Place is a broad, pedestrian priority commercial street that links Peña Station Plaza with Aviation Park.

Civitas lead the urban design vision that led to the selection of this site for an additional commuter rail station along the University of Colorado A Line. Subsequently, Civitas worked with the development team to refine and hone a development strategy based in economic realities that allowed flexibility for near- and long-term development.