New report on the Little Saigon initiative highlights the potential of South Federal Blvd

by Jessica Vargas on November 8, 2019

South Federal Boulevard has long been known for its abundance of multicultural businesses. The stretch of Federal between Alameda and Mississippi Avenues in particular is home to a number of Vietnamese restaurants, grocery stores, and shops but few Denverites know that this area is officially designated as the Little Saigon Cultural District. Over the past year, WalkDenver and the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative have partnered with Vietnamese American Community of Colorado, as well as local businesses, property owners, and residents to change that. Thanks to generous grants from the Colorado Health Foundation and Partners for Places, we were able to create the “Friends of Little Saigon” initiative to focus on community beautification and stewardship of the pedestrian environment along this part of Federal Blvd in southwest Denver.

By working with various members of the community, we have been able to identify the most desired placemaking enhancements in the district that support the dignity and enjoyment of people walking and accessing transit along Federal. Drawing upon this community input, we implemented two short-term demonstration projects focused along the corridor, which used low-cost materials to test out designs that could be installed more permanently in the future. The Little Saigon Night Market and the Mid-Autumn Festival were also community events that invited people to interact with the demonstration projects while celebrating the local multicultural flair of the corridor. The results of our efforts have been compiled into a new report available for download at our website. We hope to use the information we’ve gathered to continue our collaboration with local stakeholders with the goal of creating a safer, more inviting, and economically vibrant South Federal.

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