Sustainable Stapleton

A Good Idea


Stapleton International Airport served as Denver's municipal airport from 1929 to 1995. In 1989, with the decision to move the airport to the present Denver International Airport site, the citizens of Denver began to plan the next use for the old airport site. Over the next six years a community vision evolved calling for a new approach to development, a real world example of sustainable development of significant scale. The guiding principles for Stapleton are embodied in the Stapleton Development Plan more affectionately known as the Green Book.

Goal / Mission

The result of hundreds of community meetings and thousands of volunteer hours, The Green Book describes the three legs, or goals, of sustainability that guide development at Stapleton:

- Economic Opportunity: Develop as a regional center for job creation in diverse fields with an emphasis on new technologies and emerging industries.
- Environmental Responsibility: Demonstrate the economic and community benefits of a long-term commitment to reducing consumption of natural resources and impacts on the natural environment.
- Social Equity: Provide broad access to social, cultural and economic opportunities for all segments of the community.

Results / Accomplishments

These goals are being implemented in the first phase of development through the following actions: diversity of housing, an emphasis on the pedestrian and public transportation, energy efficiency, recycling, sustainable building materials, xeriscaping, water conservation, improved indoor air quality, and environmental clean-up. Emerging over three decades on the Stapleton site will be a network of urban villages, employment centers and significant open spaces, all linked by a commitment to the protection of natural resources and the development of human resources.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
200 West 14th Avenue, Suite 203
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 865-2957
Economy / Economic Climate
Environment / Built Environment
Social Environment / Community & Business Resources
City of Denver
UN Habitat
Date of publication
Denver, CO
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