Growth and change in the Mile High City: 2 DU professors tackling growth in new book

'Our Colorado' explores rapid growth in our state
Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 29, 2018

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DENVER -- Two University of Denver professors are tackling Denver's rapid growth and change in a new book.

Geography professors Andrew Goetz and Eric Boschmann are behind the book, which is scheduled to be released in September. The book is titled Metropolitan Denver: Growth and Change in the Mile High City.

"Cities that are growing as fast as Denver, it's nearly impossible to keep up," said Goetz.

Boschmann told Denver7 the book was about "how to maintain what Denver is despite growth."

Boschmann and Goetz said they set out to create a snapshot of Denver today and how we got here. A city that's grown by nearly 100,000 people in the last decade.

"The entire metro area has also grown very fast too, so that today it's over 3 million (in) population," said Goetz.

"There are a lot of strains with growth," said Boschmann.

Perhaps the biggest strain they found is transportation.

"I think if you were to ask people what's most frustrating about growth, it’s transportation. It's traffic congestion," said Goetz.

Colorado's highways are packed with more cars each and every day, and drivers are dealing with longer commute times.

"Transportation is the backbone of any city. As a city grows out you have to have transportation that is effective and efficient," said Goetz.

He said Denver's finally made it, and has shed its image as a cow town with no major sports teams. Our public transit? Not so big league.

"We still have a long way to go to get to the level where we really should be in terms of public transit," said Goetz. "Transit systems (elsewhere) are much more expansive than ours. They serve many places."

The DU professors applauded RTD for expanding fast tracks and other rail lines across the metro, but said there are still corridors and parts of the city left behind. There is one solution they see as encouraging.

"One of the things I am hoping for as we go forward, that might help in that regard, is more bus rapid transit lines like the one that's to be built along Colfax," said Goetz.

At the end of the day, the professors point back to history and said this isn't the first time Denver has experienced rapid growth.

"No place can remain static indefinitely. Change is inevitable. You can have positive change. You can have negative change, but there will be change," said Goetz.

The book also touches on topics about environmental impacts of Denver's growth including water availability and a closer look at the city's changing neighborhood's and how long-time Coloradans are being pushed out.