Urban municipalities all over the country, including Denver have recognized this and have set goals to reduce our excessive level of automobile dependency. After exploring various potential directions that I could take based on the academic literature that deals with these issues, I decided to change paths and seek a client for my project instead. I found a planner at Denver’s Community Planning and Development department named Andrew Rutz who was interested in working with students. He was curious about the pleasant, pedestrian friendly commercial corridors I mentioned earlier and having me do a GIS project around that. I really liked the idea and ran with it.
I proposed to focus on three related themes: the actual streetcar routes, the legacy of the streetcar in the built environment, and the impact of that legacy on neighborhood walkability. I planned to do a great deal of GIS digitization and analysis on these topics, and then host the results on an interactive web mapping application, viewable to the public, called an ESRI Story Map.
In the upcoming posts, I am going to delve into each of these three related concepts. By clicking on the link below, you can open the Story Map application. A map dominates the right side of the screen, and a sidebar is present on the left. The sidebar has three sections that control the content of the map. Under each section header are text and pictures that explain the map under consideration.
Please view the Story Map here.
Below is a quick summary of each section:
- Streetcar Routes: This section displays every streetcar route that ever existed in the city of Denver. By using the time slider, you can see how the network was configured year-by-year, from the first horsecar line in 1872 to the last streetcar lines in 1950.
- Streetcar Legacy: This section maps every Streetcar Neighborhood Commercial Development, a concept of my own devising, in the modern city of Denver.
- Streetcar Neighborhood Walkability: This takes a look at a northwest Denver neighborhood to see how Streetcar Neighborhood Commercial Developments impact the ability of residents to access their day to day destinations on foot.