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The Denver Regional Equity Atlas: Mapping Opportunity At The Regional Scale

The Denver Regional Equity Atlas was written by Reconnecting America and the Piton Foundation on behalf of Mile High Connects to inform the development of strategies to ensure that existing and expanding transit systems in the Metro Denver region provide greater access from affordable housing to jobs, good schools, health care and other essential services.

The Atlas is a visual representation of demographics, education, employment, health care and housing in relation to transit. The Atlas helped Mile High Connects identify both areas of greatest opportunity and greatest need prior to developing its strategic plan.

To help raise awareness among a wide range of stakeholders about the benefits and opportunities that a robust public transportation network can create, the Atlas maps out the region’s major origins and destinations in relation to the current and future transit network. The Atlas emphasizes the need to ensure access to opportunity for everyone in the region, especially improving connections for the region’s most economically disadvantaged residents. The future transit network will better connect people to jobs, healthcare providers, schools, grocery stores, parks and other essential destinations, but there are challenges in ensuring that the people who use and need access to public transportation the most have the opportunity to live, work, learn and play in transit-oriented communities.

The following topics form the organizational structure for the atlas:

  1. Population and Demographic Characteristics of the Region
  2. Access to Affordable, Quality Housing Options
  3. Access to Jobs and Economic Development Opportunities
  4. Access to Educational Opportunities
  5. Access to Health Care, Healthy Foods, and Recreational Facilities

Data was collected from a variety of sources for seven counties in the Metro Denver region: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. Geographic information system (GIS) software was then used to spatially analyze the data and produce maps for each topical area. Each map contains the current and future transit network, including high frequency bus routes and rail lines, as the base map.

Maps from the project are available in the maproom.