Finding Meow Wolf: Improving Access and Mobility through Community-Led Creative Placemaking in West Denver
Student Researcher: Annelies van Vonno
Link to Capstone Poster
Link to Executive Summary
Meow Wolf, a world-renowned arts and entertainment company is poised to open their new flagship exhibition space in the Sun Valley neighborhood in Denver. The 90,000 sf space will feature three stories for Meow Wolf's new exhibition, as well as space for a lobby, gift shop, café and bar, music and event venue, offices, educational programming, workshop facilities, and community areas. The entertainment venue is expected to host over 2.5 million visitors per year, or roughly 7,000 - 7,500 per day. With only 240 available parking spaces, Meow Wolf and the surrounding neighborhoods are concerned about potential traffic and spillover parking impacts on the community. While Meow Wolf is located within walking distance of several light rail stations, the location sits within an interwoven web of highway infrastructure and is not conducive to walking or biking.
This study looks at how Meow Wolf can partner with the local community to improve mobility and access in and around its site, improving the overall connectivity of the area and making it more desirable for walking, biking, and other forms of active transportation. The study examines key pedestrian and bicycle routes to and from the Meow Wolf site and explores how transit-oriented development and creative placemaking strategies can improve the area's functional mobility, safety, comfort, and appeal. After conducting a thorough existing conditions analysis focused on urban design features related to walkability, the author provides recommendations for transformative mobility-enhancing creative placemaking, public art, and street safety projects. The recommendations are followed by an implementation plan and suggestions for community partnerships.