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Jonathan Rose and The Well Tempered City

Posted: September 13, 2016 at 11:44 am by , in Featured, Morning Magazine

“The Future of the city should have great thriving retail on the lower floors, it should have offices, it should have affordable housing…and it should have market rate housing…and it should be next to transit.” -Jonathan Rose on the ideas for the resurgence of downtown Denver in 1990.

Jonathan Rose is on a book tour of the United States discussing ideas for how to rebuild cities into more affordable and sustainable social systems focused on connectivity. His book, The Well Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, discusses the lessons that can be learned from history, science, ecology, sociology and economics of cities to plan the future of cities for sustainability through urban planning and ecological “green” architecture.

Rose has been involved in the Denver community for over 25 years. He first started working in Denver in 1990, collaborating with the city to save and renovate the historic Denver Dry Goods Building.

“What was happening in those days…when [private companies] bought the building, they would tear them down so they wouldn’t have to pay real estate taxes…So the Denver Urban Renewal Authority bought the building to preserve it. They went through four developers who were unable to figure out how to preserve it, and I came to them in 1990 and said, “Let’s model the future of the city that we imagine in this building.”

This created the first mixed-use, mixed-income, green, historic, transit-oriented, development in the nation—a model that helped revitalize downtown Denver. In 1998, he redeveloped the old Elitch’s Amusement Park into the new green, mixed-use, mixed-income, Highland’s Garden Village.  Rose is now working with his partners, Chuck Perry and Sue Powers, to transform the old Marycrest Convent site near Regis University into Aria; a community dedicated to well-being.

Jonathan Rose addressed the Denver City Council an September 9th, to discuss the affordable housing inclusionary zoning regulation. On September 12th, he appeared at the Tattered Cover Book Store to talk about his new book.