Downtown District area development plan

Fort Carson, CO

Project Overview

In April 2015, HB&A, with prime contractor HDR, completed the Fort Carson Vision Plan and Installation Planning Standards (IPS) – steps one and two, respectively, in a comprehensive and collaborative planning process to create an Installation Development Plan (IDP). The Vision Plan established a series of fundamental planning components that guide the IDP processes and products, including a real property vision statement, planning goals and objectives, a framework plan, a district plan, a developable areas map, and key network maps. The IPS developed building, street, and landscape standards for the entire installation. These components were designed to be flexible yet enduring in the face of changing missions, uncertain funding environments, and evolving Army strategies. 

The Downtown District Area Development Plan (ADP) is the third component of the Fort Carson IDP and the first in a series of ADPs that will be developed for the installation. The ADP establishes important programming information for the 4th Infantry Division to justify capital investment decisions and to secure funding for future projects in the heart of the installation.

ADP Approach

HB&A’s planning approach began gathering and analyzing installation data to develop a thorough understanding of the post, the district, the users, and the client’s product expectations. The consultant team then conducted targeted interviews with key representatives of the Downtown District to get a more detailed understanding of how each user functions within the district and vet requirements data.
At the crux of the ADP process was an interactive charrette held at Fort Carson over the course of a week. The charrette process was critical to soliciting subject matter expertise, building consensus about concept development, facilitating conversations among key decision makers, and broadening stakeholder engagement.

HB&A led participants through a series of carefully designed and facilitated individual, group, and field exercises, including:

  • Planning 101 Overview
  • Site Analysis
  • Field Investigation
  • Goals and Priorities Development
  • Concepts Workshops
  • Alternatives Development and Evaluation
  • Preferred Alternative Synthesis
  • Open Houses

Participants included 48 representatives from organizations invested in the Downtown District, including the Garrison Command; 4th Sustainment Brigade; 4th Engineer Battalion; Directorate of Public Works; Sustainability; Director, Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation; Post Exchange; Network Enterprise Center; Directorate of Emergency Services; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Throughout the charrette week, participants identified district assets and liabilities through a field study, prioritized key planning objectives pertinent to the study area, and developed and illustrated three alternative planning concepts. For the Alternatives Development, small groups were focused on planning according to guidelines provided by the consultant team and refined by DPW staff. Alternative 1 focused on the status quo or a conservative/limited funding approach; Alternative 2 was considered the ambitious (“go big”) concept; and Alternative 3 explored the possibility of moving the fenceline in to facilitate more community integration. From these three concepts, a preferred alternative was developed, refined, and vetted with stakeholders. 

Following the development of the key products of the charrette week, HB&A developed the regulating plan, planning standards, and phasing plan, working closely with DPW staff throughout the process. 

*cover photo by Cameron Moxie



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