Radian | Placematters conducted a study highlighting a “Healthy Eating Active Living” (HEAL) strategy to improve access to fresh, healthy, and local foods in the West Denver community proximate to the Decatur-Federal Light Rail Station, which includes the West Colfax, Villa Park and Sun Valley neighborhoods. Funded through a 2010 Community Challenge grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities initiative to promote livability throughout the nation, the City of Denver is pleased to present this next step toward a more sustainable Denver. Denver’s West Rail Corridor, a 12-mile light rail transit corridor between the Denver Union Station in downtown Denver and the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden, opened in April 2013. The intersection of West Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard near the Decatur-Federal station, next door to downtown Denver is rich with immigrant cultures. The area is defined by a rich history of Italian, Vietnamese, Latino and Jewish immigrants who call this area home. In more recent years, Somali and Somali-Bantu refugees joined this mix. Together these groups create a mosaic of subcultures unique to Denver. While Denver is a gateway city for immigration, many new residents face economic challenges and barriers due to language and culture; they lack a pathway out of poverty and lack access to fresh food. The immediate area ranks among the lowest income Census tracts in the state and it is considered to be a “food desert” where hard working residents of humble means lack sufficient access to fresh food retailers. A movement to correct imbalances, promote sustainable local food systems and improve access to nutritious food is underway. To address these issues, this feasibility study and concept plan explores the possible development of a food hub in the vicinity of the West Rail Corridor.
Partners: Architecture For Humanity – Denver (designforeveryone.org)