Denver Parks and Recreation has made its final selection from three design teams for the “Re-imagine Play” project at Denver’s City Park. The selected team of PORT Architecture + Urbanism/Indie Architecture developed the “City Loop” concept, which was presented in a public meeting in July.

The City will now work to put a contract in place with the PORT/Indie team and begin organizing a broad stakeholder group to move the project forward. Design for the selected concept will begin in the spring and include several opportunities for public input.

“The PORT/Indie team was selected by the steering committee for their strong local presence, flexible design concept and plan to incorporate active uses in the design to promote healthy living,” said Lauri Dannemiller, manager for Denver Parks and Recreation. “Our goals for this project are to create a unique experience for City Park visitors and connect the park to the entire community by creating a design that will engage children and adults alike.”

The “Re-imagine Play” competition started with eight designs that highly motivated, qualified and experienced design teams submitted. The eight concepts were displayed in different parts of Denver and on the Denver Parks and Recreation website to collect public input, which affected the Re-imagine Play Competition Jury’s decision. After the July 24 public presentations, Denver Parks and Recreation collected additional public input for the Competition Jury to consider when selecting the winner.

The three finalists who presented their concepts on July 24 were:

• AECOM: “Reach Up Root Down”

• CCDS Design Group: “Over Under Through”

• Port Architecture + Urbanism/Indie Architecture: “City Loop”

Throughout the selection process, the Denver Parks and Recreation Department has worked tirelessly to engage the public for their input on this project.  In addition to previous public meetings and the presentations made in July, the Department has also conducted numerous road shows throughout the Denver community, put all information online and conducted surveys that resulted in hundreds of responses.

The proposed project area for the new playground at City Park is located in the western part of the park. It is in the general vicinity of the existing Dustin Redd playground. This large, popular wooden structure, built in 1996 by community volunteers, is fast approaching the end of its safe and useful lifespan. The need to remove this beloved but unsustainable structure opens up the opportunity to create a new space and experience that is well suited to City Park and will surpass expectations and stretch the imagination.

The overall budget goal for the project is $5 million for design, construction, capital maintenance and programming. While the City and County of Denver will provide some funding, the majority will come from grants, donations and other fundraising efforts.
The project is expected to be built in two phases, with a short-term fundraising goal of $3 million to complete the first phase. Additional elements will be added in a future phase as funding becomes available.

To view renderings of the selected design, visit