Urban Fold

Should Urban Planners Live in the City?

The Denver Post writes about Brad Buchanan, who in February became the executive director of the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development.
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Jon Murray writes an article that examines the question raised by the headline in relation to Buchanan's leadership of the Department of Community Planning and Development. Murray first describes Buchanan: "The weekend farmer who's also a longtime architect well-regarded in development circles is five months into his job as Denver's head city planner."

Buchanan lives an hour outside of Denver, and "[that] juxtaposition — an Eastern Plains rancher responsible for making key decisions about Denver's increasingly dense urban footprint — has some critics of the city's building bonanza grumbling."

Buchanan explains in his own words, however, about how his rural residence and the ranching operations there compliment the ongoing project or redeveloping Denver's urban environments. Buchanan is quoted directly:

"To me, there are two big jobs we have as human beings trying to figure out how we're going to keep the planet alive…We need to protect nature ... and we need to perfect the urban environment. I get to do both with my lifestyle."

Murray also acknowledges that in addition to the opposition Buchanan has encountered from neighborhood groups concerned about density, Buchanan has ardent supporters, like Mayor Michael Hancock and Ken Schroeppel—the latter "an urban planning and design instructor at the University of Colorado Denver and founder of the widely read DenverInfill and DenverUrbanism blogs."

Full Story: Rancher at home, urbanist at work: Top Denver planner raises eyebrows

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