Grounding a future in place: incorporating small town character into a mixed-use town center in Castle Rock, CO



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Small cities in America are largely made of suburban developments, and as they continue to grow they must consider ways of transitioning their growth into something more responsible. A city can grow more responsibly by minimizing sprawl and increasing the density of developments; however, when doing this the city risks altering its visual character with large buildings that feel out of place. This report demonstrates how Castle Rock, Colorado can increase building density, without jeopardizing the key characteristics and experiential qualities that contribute to the city’s sense of place. In order for a city to successfully implement high-density developments grounded in the character, history, and cultural of the community, the city must first identify how community members perceive the character of their environment. Semi-structured interviews with Castle Rock residents reveal the key qualities that contribute to the character and sense of place within the community. Precedent studies inform common strategies used by similar development across the country, and site analysis reveals the opportunities and constraints presented by the site and its surroundings. A projective design is created by synthesizing the findings from semi-structured interviews, precedent studies, and site analysis, to create a mixed-use town center in Castle Rock, Colorado. This project demonstrates how Castle Rock can introduce an alternative form of growth that is more responsible, and more reflective of the city’s character and sense of place.



Responsible growth, Castle Rock, Sense of place

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Master of Landscape Architecture


Department of Landscape Architecture/Regional and Community Planning

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Amir Gohar