Sasaki’s strategic development plan for the Denver International Airport (DEN) continues to generate excitement. The plan was featured in an APEX article last month, and now is showcased in a display on the airport’s main concourse. According to Fred Merrill, FAICP, LEED® AP, Sasaki principal in charge of the project, DEN is leading the way in a new chapter of American urban development and this interactive exhibit encourages the public to engage with that future as it begins to unfold.
The display conveys the energy around DEN’s development vision. It welcomes travelers to “Denver’s Global Gateway,” noting that the airport’s upcoming development will include the largest commercial community being built on airport land in the United States. The development will feature a series of vibrant districts, accommodating numerous industry sectors and introducing new economic opportunities to the area. “When I saw the display, I thought it captured the spirit and key elements of the plan exceedingly well,” says Merrill. “The display invites and inspires people to imagine the possibilities as the airport’s commercial development takes shape and I think people are going to be excited by what they see.”
The display focuses on “a new vision for business in the modern west,” featuring renderings of each of the five proposed mixed-use districts alongside a large aerial view of the airport’s planned development. Additionally, the display highlights DEN’s unique opportunity to leverage its location midway between Tokyo and Frankfurt, regional economic momentum, and accessibility to a fast-growing downtown Denver via commuter rail.
As this project continues to move forward, the DEN display explicitly welcomes travelers to engage with the plans for development. “With vision and community support, DEN and its neighbors are redefining what it means for Denver to be a contemporary American airport city,” Merrill points out. The current DEN exhibit captures and communicates this ambitious, adventurous spirit, which characterizes the strategic plan as a whole.
Sasaki’s Strategic Development Plan transforms DEN’s 16,000 acres of non-aviation land into a series of concentrated development districts designed to serve a spectrum of national and global businesses. Each district capitalizes on the property’s unique landscape amenities, views, and seamless international airport access. While today DEN remains the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating in excess of $26 billion for the region annually, the plan recognizes that the airport could multiply its impact if it invests strategically. With its geographically advantageous position, favorable economic climate, recently opened rail line, and abundance of land, DEN has all the raw inputs to advance as a dynamic airport city of global significance. In working toward this end, Sasaki’s plan uniquely considers the different scales of the landscape experience, capitalizing on the diversity of ways that airport visitors traverse the airport and surroundings. Each mode of transport—by foot, bicycle, car, train, or plane—provides a distinct perspective and specially-crafted experience.