Public says keep pedestrian malls true to Aspen

Jul 5, 2017

Credit Courtesy Photo

Aspen’s pedestrian malls should stay how they are for the most part, according to recent outreach conducted by the Project for Public Spaces.

The downtown brick-layden promenades need an upgrade because they are not ADA compliant, and the underlying utilities are degrading. But, apart from that, a recent interactive survey shows that the public likes the status quo.

Meg Walker, senior vice president at Project for Public Spaces oversaw the outreach workshops conducted on the mall last month. The consultants specialize in “placemaking” or designing spaces that are well used by diverse cross sections of a community.

“What we tried to do was introduce the basic things people are looking for, like a comfortable place to sit, like shade, or food and places where people could come alone or come as a group,” said Walker.

The majority of public feedback stated not to “over design” the mall to the point where it has a false, Disney-like feel, said Walker. Some ideas for revitalizing the mall include increasing space for food carts and making the mall more flexible for year-round use. For example, one corner could have a firepit in the winter that transforms to a stage for summer concerts.

Three design recommendations will now be drafted and presented to Aspen City Council.