Location: Pueblo, CO | Client: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Project Date: 2015 – present
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The City of Pueblo, Colorado has invested significantly in their downtown with a riverwalk and main street improvements. Now they are eager to revitalize the neighborhoods south of the Arkansas River that have suffered from contamination and stigma due to the Colorado Smelter Superfund Site. As EPA began cleanup in 2015, they requested technical assistance from Skeo to support a revitalization process.
In the first phase of assistance, Skeo supported the development and convening of an interagency group including federal, state and local governments to coordinate and align investments. Skeo then conducted a contractor-led assessment which included a land use analysis to evaluate infrastructure, multi-modal transportation, housing, business and open space challenges and opportunities. In October of 2018, Skeo facilitated a 1.5-day visioning workshop that included a full-day technical working session and an evening public meeting to identify revitalization strategies to fulfill the community’s goals around housing, business, open space and cultural identity. Based on the outcomes of the workshop, Skeo developed a revitalization plan complete with strategies and a detailed action plan.
The resulting community revitalization framework provides an action plan to guide coordination and investment from federal, state and local partners in the years to come. Key strategies include a greenway trail connecting the neighborhoods to the Arkansas River, the Downtown Riverwalk and other recreational assets. For housing, the framework outlines a plan for infill zoning to provide for a range of affordable housing while protecting the historic character of the neighborhood. For economic development, Skeo proposed a strategy for incorporating an anchor store or community asset into the historic main street, along with significant streetscape improvements while maintaining the “main street” character. The workshop fostered new relationships between the city, regional/state partners and the community to support implementation. Participants applauded the workshop and resulting revitalization plan as a catalyst for revitalization investment in these neighborhoods with enormous potential.