Denver's breakneck-paced population growth and accompanying economic boom have generated jobs to the point of record-low unemployment. Investment opportunities, especially in the superheated real estate market, have flourished. Cultural amenities have blossomed. And just about everyone wants to move in.
Denver is a relocation destination; a magnet for millennials; a beacon to those seeking a piece of the good life.
All of which is to say that the Mile High City — long dismissed as a cowtown — has become hip.
And yet, to look at the returns of this spring's municipal balloting, you'd think Denverites have never been more miserable.
The city's voters unceremoniously dumped three incumbent City Council veterans from office, and by most accounts, it was the ripple effects of that same-said growth that had roused their ire and whet their appetite for change.
After all, growth's inevitable downside offers something to displease just about everyone: soaring housing costs, gridlocked streets, encroaching skyscrapers, lost open space, disrupted neighborhoods and more, all accompanied by the steady din and widespread inconvenience of construction. And not just downtown, but also seemingly in everyone's backyard.
So, city voters made their displeasure known, electing candidates who promised to do something about all of it — or, at least, to try. And who also promised to listen — a fetching appeal to those Denver denizens who have long complained about being shut out of the city's planning process.
Starting today and continuing through Friday at ColoradoPolitics.com, we offer six commentaries that attempt to articulate some of the frustration with growth in Colorado's largest city as well as some ideas for what to do about it.
Contributors include a newly elected council member who toppled an incumbent and who gives voice to those she says have been displaced.
We also hear from a returning council veteran who says we first must address the concerns and needs of Denver's current residents before attempting to accommodate more.
There is also a longtime transit advocate and some upstart activists who challenge conventional thinking. They offer food for though about how to curb Denver's soaring housing costs and how to simply get from Point A to Point B.
Denver is booming and thriving, but many would say it's also reeling.
Here are some ideas for reconciling those opposing forces of nature. Will Denver's reshuffled political leadership heed such input? And should it?