I interviewed Tamara Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, not too long ago. Every time I speak with Tamara I get really excited about what’s happening in downtown Denver. According to their mission statement The Downtown Denver Partnership was created “to focus on any aspect that impacts downtown to make it a more vibrant, vital place to live,”. Those aspects are housing, economic development and urban planning.

If all you do is run downtown for a play or out to dinner, then you really ought to take some time and check out that urban planning and housing Door talks about. She says, “There has become a real mosaic of neighborhoods being developed,” fueled by the high demand to live downtown. Driving around the other day I found out she was right. Downtown neighborhoods have cropped up like crazy – those like the Central Platte Valley, Curtis Park, the Golden Triangle and Lower Downtown. Granted, I live in suburbia and have gotten used to living and working within a 10-mile radius of home, so I’ve missed some of the earlier development of these areas. Yet even folks living and working in these neighborhoods daily admit the transformation is explosive.

Let’s take the Central Platte Valley, for example, which lies between Speer Boulevard and Park Avenue. This 120-acre area for years was nothing more than warehouses, rail yards and viaducts. Today it’s an awesome mixed-use urban neighborhood with more than 3 million square feet of offices, shops, restaurants and hotels. The real jewel of this area is the 90 acres of parks. You might know about the South Platte River for kayaking, but did you know there was that much park space set aside? The largest is Commons Park, boasting 30 acres with a ton of residential redevelopment all around.

The Downtown Denver Partnership does an incredible job of promoting the well-being of these thriving urban neighborhoods. Just look around – it shows.