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Denver's La Alma/Lincoln Park Earns A Great Place To Live Nod

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Robin Kanouse
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Flickr - Creative Commons

The La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood, found just south of Denver’s downtown, has received a national boost from the American Planning Association. The culturally diverse and historic area has been listed as the top ten great neighborhoods to live in the non-profit's annual Great Places In America List.

It’s not hard to see why. La Alma/Lincoln Park was given high grades for its bike friendly atmosphere and easy pedestrian access to the area’s 100+ restaurants, coffee shops and bars by Walk Score, a website that provides information for potential renters or home buyers on the quality of life by neighborhood.

For history buffs, the area is also one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, with 93 percent of the streets developed before 1900. 20 structures are listed by the Denver Inventory as having architectural or historic significance. One residential district within the neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The good ratings aren't just based on accessibility and historic significance. The neighborhood’s cultural heritage goes back to the 1850’s and is a prime area for street art, galleries and festivals.

The Santa Fe arts district is based there, and it's the new home of the Colorado Ballet. While higher than average crime rates put a dent on the neighborhood's reputation in the 1980's, the American Planning Association cites the now vibrant arts community as a significant contribution to lower crime rates today.

The future looks even brighter with some help from the city of Denver [.pdf], with plans to revitalize the area through sustainable preservation of historic sites, improved transit and greater support of local businesses.

City planners acknowledge problems such as dilapidated housing, poverty and unemployment are still a factor. The Denver Community Planning and Development Department partnered with members of the La Alma/Lincoln Park Community to address potential improvements. They concluded that high population density around the 10th and Osage light rail station can help support public transit through street expansion and better connections from the station to the Santa Fe Arts and Business Corridor.

The city will also help to fund public art and support the new development of high rise apartments near the 10th and Osage Station for easier access while advocating for mixed-use areas to encourage a merge of small businesses and places of residence.

With those changes, La Alma/Lincoln Park is poised to build on its nationally recognized sustainable growth within the next 15 years.

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