Golden Vision 2030

Golden, Colorado
  • Featured Story

    Watch a video featuring Golden’s version of Heart & Soul Community Planning: Vision2030!

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  • Project At A Glance

    LocationGolden, Colorado
    Population17,159 (2000 Census)
    Area9 square miles (23 square kilometers)
    Project Partners

    City of Golden

    Project Duration2008-2010
    Focus AreasCivic engagement, comprehensive planning, downtown planning, neighborhoods, transportation
    MethodsCivic engagement, dialogue, public-private partnerships, storytelling
    ToolsCommunity Almanac, CommunityViz®, digital storytelling, keypad polling, surveys, web tools, word clouds
    Coordinator Contact

    Theresa Worsham
    tworsham [@] cityofgolden [.] net

    Project WebsiteGolden Vision 2030—the Heart & Soul of Golden
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Launch Project Slideshow

Golden Vision 2030 Golden, Colorado

Involving citizens in the planning process is nothing new in Golden, Colorado, but Golden Vision 2030 (GV 2030) is taking community involvement to new heights. Golden’s population grew more than 30 percent between 1990 and 2000, presenting challenges of walkability, community engagement and housing affordability. With further growth projected for the future, Golden wanted to proactively involve the entire community in discussing potential challenges.

As part of Golden 2030, residents came out by the thousands to discuss the future of their city at storytelling events such as block parties, chili socials, group story circuits and festivals as well as group story listening and community summits. The values identified by the process will serve as the starting point and philosophical guide for future comprehensive plan updates, neighborhood plans, land use decisions, code changes and community investment decisions.

Read the Golden Case Study!


Technically a suburb of Denver, Golden is, without a doubt, its own city. Situated between the high plains and the Rockies, and bisected by Clear Creek, Golden is rich in history, adventure, industry and culture. World-class rock climbing, whitewater kayaking and paragliding keep local residents active and draw adventurers from all over.

A number of businesses and institutes call Golden home: the Colorado School of Mines, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Coors Brewery and the American Mountaineering Center. Golden’s numerous museums, arts centers and events—like Blacksmith Demo Days and the Summer Solstice Music Festival—provide plenty of options for entertainment.

Golden has experienced spurts of rapid growth throughout its history. In the 1990s, citizens became concerned about the pace and consequences of growth and worked to impose strict regulations on development and expansion. In 1993, voters adopted ordinances that limit the construction of new residences to one percent per year and curtail the physical expansion of the city limits.

In 2013, Denver’s FasTracks light rail will reach the edge of Golden, expanding on the existing highways and bus networks that connect the two cities. The City is working hard to involve the community in traffic planning and other growth design and the values articulated by the community during the GV 2030 process will guide decisions for this major change in Golden.


At the kick-off event for Golden Vision 2030, planner Steve Glueck said, “There are an awful lot of voices that are not here tonight, and it is going to be our goal over the next few months to bring those voices into the conversation.”

Over the course of an eight-month story-gathering phase, community members collected more than 360 stories from people across the city, which translated to over 2000 individual values statements distilled by story listening groups. At a community summit, the value statements were translated into 11 core values and 35 supporting statements, which formed the foundation of the GV 2030 Plan as well as the City’s updated Comprehensive Plan.

The process continues to propagate with neighborhood meetings and a social networking site designed to keep citizens in the loop about local government happenings.


Golden_logo_150x61.jpgThe City of Golden has a city council/city manager form of leadership, consisting of an elected mayor and six city councilors. Among the boards, commissions and committees addressing community issues are the following: the Bike Task Force, Community Sustainability Advisory Board, Economic Development Commission, Urban Renewal Authority, Historic Preservation Board, Housing Advisory Task Force, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Walkability Task Force, Historic Preservation Board and Planning Commission.