We are Denver YIMBYs for GOOD! We want to encourage the city to slow down growth, and instead focus on building our city to be better for the long term. We know change in inevitable, so why not change things for the better?
If you want a glimmer of hope that cities don't have to be all bad, check out this amazing book, Nature’s Best Hope, by Douglas Tallamy. This hopeful read shows us how urban cities can make a huge difference by planting native plants.
As Denver is considered the high desert, our grass-filled parkways, parks and landscapes are water-and-resource-guzzling strains on our environment. In this book, Tallamy suggests to replace a portion of our high-maintenance lawns, parkways and landscapes with native plantings. Wouldn't this be a wonderful addition to our city? Perhaps, instead of talking about how developers are going to “help us” by building high rises, we could instead have city planners focus on how to make our city more sustainable. To help cut down pollution caused from the mass exodus of people escaping to the mountains daily, we could incorporate wildlife corridors in our parks and even our parkways (Monaco, 7th, and 17th Parkway) that would allow for pedestrians to safely walk and experience nature right in our city, no car trip needed.
We could look to other cities for inspiration for adding more native plants, such as NYC. They built The High Line, a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail created on a former New York Central Railroad spur. The High Line trail is super popular with city-bound residents and visitors, as it provides peace and nature right in the heart of the city. The birds, butterflies and other wildlife also thrive right in the heart of the city.
While developers tout that their endless units are going to be filled with people who don't need cars, that is hard to do in Denver. We don't have affordable public transportation, nor is it convenient, and there are little-to-no options for getting to the mountains (which believe us, that's why everyone is moving here!) We FIRST need to focus on improving our public transportation, cleaning up our air pollution, as well as preserving and improving green spaces in our city so that we don't have to drive anywhere to enjoy nature.
Let's change the conversation.