Deciding what Colorado Springs will look like in the future

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Have you ever wondered what Colorado Springs will look like in 10 to 15 years?

You’re not alone. Leaders in our community are doing just that.

Organizations like Age Friendly Colorado Springs want to make our community more livable for everyone.

That includes better designs for communities, better transportation, and more resources for people who need it.

These plans are meant to benefit people from age 8 to age 80 and beyond.

While our city already has a good grasp on livability, rethinking things could make us a much happier community.

Barbara Yalich is in her 80s, and she said the biggest part of these plans is to be able to quickly get around town, especially for seniors.

“We all are thinking about the day when we won’t be able to,” said Yalich.

A city planning expert said there’s a reason that’s a major problem in the Springs.

“I think you suffer from the sprawl. The notion of those housing subdivisions that went up the hill, to the sides, and went east,” said expert Mark Fenton.

That is why a big part of this livability plan is creating communities where you can get everything you need on foot, or by bike, in five minutes.

“Building a community where wherever I live I don’t have to get in my car for every trip,” said Fenton.

There’s a big balance to strike.

“You have to have that vibrant downtown and create those kinds of centers, and as much as you’ve already built suburban stuff, make sure you retrofit it to make this kind of active lifestyle we’re describing,” said Fenton.

Something like this can take a decade or longer to fully achieve.

“It’s not a matter of can we, it’s a matter of, ‘do we have the vision?’ and then, ‘do we have the guts?’ to do it, because you can do it as part of the money that’s being spent already,” said Fenton.

Yalich said this doesn’t just help people who already live here.

“Helps us with our livability, our reputation nationwide. Helps us attract new businesses, new residents. It helps make us a strong community, and I think that’s what we all want,” said Yalich.

Fenton said Colorado Springs isn’t the only city thinking about this, so the city needs to aggressively go after these plans to attract both millennials and empty nest baby boomers.

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