Infill Can Help Fulfill Arvada’s Needs and Goals

July 24, 2023

Rendering of Ralston Gardens

Urban Infill is the process of adding new commercial or residential developments to already established areas. Infill is not a type of development, but a way to see and use the current landscape to better shape the future of a community.

Infill developments may be added to underused spaces. These spaces may be ripe for rehabilitation because they are empty lots, abandoned or blighted buildings, unneeded or redundant parking lots, or areas requiring environmental mitigation

Sites like Arvada Urban Renewal Authority’s affordable housing project Ralston Gardens and redevelopment of the abandoned Kmart into The Caroline housing and commercial site are perfect examples of infill projects.

By investing in developing infill sites the community is building where there is established infrastructure. This can decrease the cost of building and offer more affordable housing and commercial sites.

Infill development is also an environmentally friendly way to grow. By adding housing to an infill site you are building housing nearer to established jobs and services. This cuts down on drive times, helping to cut local carbon emissions. Infill development also slows urban sprawl because needed growth can be added to established neighborhoods and commercial centers.

Developing potential infill sites also gives a community an economic boost to older development areas. New housing and commercial sites bring new life to neighborhoods. This can empower residents and ensure local communities continue to thrive.

Infill development isn’t a perfect solution to a community’s long-term success, though. There are some downsides to infill development.

The most noticeable downside is a temporary disruption while infill development is completed. We’ve all experienced the inconvenience of construction. It can be noisy, dirty, and require detours. But the short-term inconvenience is outweighed by the long-term benefits.

By embracing infill development, cities can foster thriving and economically prosperous communities while promoting sustainability and well-being. Infill is good for longtime residents and newcomers looking to join a thriving community!

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