Denver’s Landscape is Changing

Over the past decade, Colorado natives have idly stood by watching the city of Denver change before their very eyes. The major reason for these changes is our drastically growing population. People from all over the country are flocking here to purchase Denver homes. The past few years, Colorado has experienced population increases like never before. This has caused many people to ponder what has changed to prompt these increases. It seems that there a few finite reasons that are making Colorado one of the most desirable places to live.  

Economic Growth

According to the Denver Business Journal, our state has the fourth fastest growing economy in America. The construction, information, and wholesale trade industries appear to be the top growing crafts feeding the economy.  

Influx of Jobs

With this economic growth, jobs are not scarce and opportunities are endless. Many of these jobs are in the professional and private sector yielding high incomes and amazing benefits. For many of the younger generations, this is highly coveted. This is allowing many mid-western college graduates from small towns the chance to change their lifestyle and jump right into their preferred professions.  

The Rocky Mountains

Even if you live and work in the city, the Rocky Mountains are a part of your life. With mild winters, lots of sunshine, and quick access, enjoying the mountains is quite easy. Whether you are an avid outdoorsman, or you simply want a respite of quiet and clean air, there is something for you to enjoy if you venture to the mountains.

Healthy Lifestyle

With the higher paying jobs and natural amenities for a healthy lifestyle, people are finding Colorado a positive place to live and raise children. There are few places that offer benefits in all life domains.

Negative Impacts of the City and its Residents

Even though the reasons that are prompting people to call Colorado home are positive, the population influx does have some downfalls for residents. Finding the amount of available Denver homes that is needed to provide the supply for the demand has been challenging and will only get worse. As you drive the streets in the heart of town and on the outskirts, you can see a massive surge of multi-family Denver homes and buildings. This new development is prompting urban renewal and improvements to the city, but it comes at a cost. Newcomers are filling these buildings left and right and adopting a city lifestyle. The previous vision of the “American Dream”, which centered around a house with a white picket fence, is slowly dying.  

Communities are losing their connectedness because home life is now confined to the inside of four walls with no outdoor living space. People are unable to get together for large gatherings, BBQ’s and picnics because they do not have a yard or common grounds. These high -rise buildings are providing Denver homes for thousands within one footprint but are taking away human connection and with that a sense of belonging.  Residents tend to return home from a long day at work and hibernate until the next day because of the inconvenience of “going out”. This is the making for a very stoic living existence.

Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter, and Kurt Back introduced the concept of Propinquity in their 1950 paper, “The Spatial Ecology of Group Formation”. They purported that propinquity is the leading factor in interpersonal attraction (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950).  It refers to physical distance between people which directly affects the psychological distance between people (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950). This randomly happens on city streets when people have chance encounters and it breeds attraction and interaction. These high-rise neighborhoods diminish the likelihood of happenstances and leaves people feeling isolated. Gone are the days of waving at neighbors, kids playing with other kids on their streets, neighborhood gatherings, and community activities.

Not only do residents feel this isolation from lack of contact, but aesthetically as well. City streets are now alley-like, as they are darkened by shadows of buildings and lack of sunlight.  

We all want Colorado to grow and remain economically viable, but we also want to preserve family and the days of old where people gathered to enjoy each other or shared a friendly wave. As our population continues to grow, we should all take a minute to take these things to heart to work toward a connectedness that we once had.