Urban Centers

Building Places for Life and Work


Connected urban centers and multimodal corridors throughout the region accomodate a growing share of the region’s housing and employment.

What are they? What do they do?

While each urban center is unique, all urban centers will:

  • be active, pedestrian-, bicycle- and transit-friendly places that are more dense and mixed in use than surrounding areas
  • allow people of all ages and incomes to access a range of housing, employment and service opportunities without sole reliance on having to drive
  • promote regional sustainability by reducing per capita daily vehicle miles traveled, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption
  • respect and support existing neighborhoods

Some urban centers already exist but continue to evolve. Other urban centers are only just now beginning to develop. Still other urban centers exist only as local plans.

Through Metro Vision, local governments have collectively decided to direct a significant portion of growth and development to urban centers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve community livability, enhance economic vitality and focus a portion of the region’s limited transportation funding in areas with potential for the greatest local and regional impact.

Connected Urban Centers Throughout the Region

Out of the 50+ local governments that make up DRCOG, 26 have designated 105 urban centers through the region. Together, they hold over a tenth of the region’s housing supply and over a third of the region’s jobs while making up about one percent of the region’s area.

New and Expanded Urban Centers

Local governments identify urban centers through their own visioning and planning activities. They can then seek regional designation in Metro Vision. In May 2018 the DRCOG Board of Directors amended Metro Vision to include one new urban center and four boundary updates to current urban centers for:


  • Mile High Greyhound Park in Commerce City


  • E470/I-70 in Aurora
  • Downtown Brighton Activity Center in Brighton
  • Eastlake in Thornton
  • I-25/Hwy 7 Activity Center in Thornton

If you have questions about how to identify, change, expand or refocus an urban center through Metro Vision, please reach out to metrovision@drcog.org

Discover More

Find links to Urban Center and Station Area Master Planning studies funded by DRCOG.

1001 17th Street

Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303-455-1000

Fax: 303-480-6790

©2019 DRCOG