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Boulder Civic Area Project



Email Us!

•  Email the Civic Area Team

Civic Area Master Plan

• Civic Area MasterPlan - July 2015 pdf

Civic Area Reports

• City Council Memo - June 16, 2015

•  Structural Review of Bandshell pdf

• Boulder Bandshell Noise Study pdf 

• Civic Area Flood Report pdf 

• Technical Memorandum pdf 

Civic Area Menu

•   NEW!  Visualize the new Civic Area

•    Boulder Community Health Broadway Campus Redevelopment 

•  Digital Input Microsite

•  Inspire Boulder Digital Town Hall

•  2015 Process and Timeline pdf

Public Input

Ideas Competition - Bandshell pdf

• March 10, 2015 Open House

• March 2015 Public Input Report pdf

• Youth Ideas for the Civic Area

• Oct. 20, 2014 Design Workshop

• Sept. 23, 2014 Open House

Civic Area Vision Plan


Welcome to the Boulder Civic Area website!

This site offers information about the Boulder Civic Area redevelopment in downtown Boulder.  The site includes the area between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue and 9 th and 14 th Streets. In July of 2015, Boulder City Council adopted a new Civic Area Master Plan pdf to replace the 1992 Civic Center Master Plan and build on the 2013 Vision Plan. The long-term vision is to transform the Civic Area into an even more unique place that reflects the community’s shared values and its diversity, providing space and programs for people to gather, recreate, eat, learn, deliberate and innovate. The plan establishes the goals, guiding principles and core themes for Civic Area implementation.

Implementation of the Boulder Civic Area Master Plan is expected to take place over the next 10 to 20 years. However, due to the passage of the Community, Culture and Safety tax initiative in November 2014, the first phase of improvements in the Civic Area are moving forward. Planning for and implementation of the Boulder Civic Area Master Plan has been undertaken by cross departmental teams working to advance the plan’s vision.

Please take some time to navigate latest updates on this site. If you have any input or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Civic Area Park Plan Approved By City Council

On November 10, 2015, the Boulder City Council approved plans to move forward with improvements to the Civic Area as part of the Community, Culture & Safety project funding approved by voters in late 2014.

The approval allows the city to move forward with specific changes in the "Park at the Core" area, including the development of Nature Play areas for kids and an 11th Street Spine Bridge that will help link downtown Boulder to neighborhoods south of Civic Area.

The approval also means that the first phase of construction should begin sometime in early summer of 2016.

As part of the approval, the Civic Area project team will return to Landmarks Board for further consideration of potential changes to the existing seating area for the Glen Huntington Bandshell.

Total funding for the Civic Area improvements will amount to an estimated $8.7 million of the projected $27 million voter-approved sales tax revenue over the next three years.

Civic Area Parking Changes

City of Boulder announces changes to parking in the Civic Area to take effect in January 2016. 

On Nov. 9, 2015 in a news release, the City of Boulder announced changes that will take effect for parking in the Civic Area lots. For details, please link to this information pdf on the changes. A map of the planned changes is also available for review. 

Additional information will become available in the near future!

Visualize the new Civic Area!

After a year of planning and design, the Boulder Civic Area team wants to help the community Visualize the new Civic Area! Below are links to many opportunities to visualize the first physical improvements that will take place to the Civic Area beginning in 2016.

Recently, the city’s Planning Board as well as the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board have recommended to City Council the proposed plan be approved for construction and over the next several weeks, information will be provided through this website  to help you Visualize the new Civic Area with the use of drawings, display billboards, 3D graphics, physical models, and community tours.

These outreach efforts will culminate with the opportunity for the community to share thoughts on the plans during the Nov. 10, 2015 City Council Meeting where Council will be considering the proposed plan recommended from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. 

Please note, the relocation of the Bandshell is not being considered as part of the current plan. The Bandshell will continue to be analyzed in conjunction with the upcoming Canyon Corridor Study as well as the Urban Design Framework for the 1300 block or “East Bookend.”  However, the current plan does recommend the replacement of the current bench seating area with a sloped lawn to allow for a variety of uses as recommended by the community

Renderings of Civic Area 

To view the latest plans as presented to the various city boards, click here. Please note the current Civic Area plans are still a schematic level of design intended to display the proposed amenities and locations with the park. Based on City Council approval, the plans will proceed to final design with construction anticipated in 2016.

Board Presentation Materials

To view the current Powerpoint presentation used by Boulder Civic Area team members during board presentations, click here pdf.

New display billboards and maps in the Civic Area

The Boulder Civic Area team continues to unveil a series of display billboards on site in the Civic Area.  Check them out!  These boards include eye-level views installed at several locations around the current Civic Area for the public to visualize the new Civic Area. 

Community Tour

The Boulder Civic Area team held two free walking tours around the Civic Area on Oct. 27, 2015 to point out the areas that will see potential changes and to help Visualize the new Civic Area . Thanks to all who attended. We had a great turnout and great public input!

Civic Area Calendar of Events

Upcoming Events

Snow Much Fun


Central Park will glow with more than 200,000 LED lights from Nov. 17 to Jan 3.

See more upcoming events in the Calendar of Events

City unveils new webpage for Boulder Community Health Broadway Campus Redevelopment

The City of Boulder has entered into an agreement to purchase the Boulder Community Hospital site at 1100 Balsam Avenue. The purchase price is $40 million, with an initial $3 million in Earnest Money. The initial background into this project fell to the Civic Area Team. The effort has now been named the Boulder Community Health / Broadway Campus Redevelopment. A new website is now available for all of the latest information about the effort. Be sure to check back often, as it will be continually updated as the purchase moves forward!

Results from the Design Inspiration Initiative are in!

Earlier this spring, City Council members identified several program elements within the Civic Area where greater community engagement could benefit potential uses and design concepts: the Bandshell, 11th Street Spine Bridge, and Nature Play areas.

In response, the Boulder Civic Area Team introduced the Design Inspiration Initiative in May, which took input from community members on design ideas for the three elements through a two-month long, online public survey. 

The survey closed on July 10, 2015 with 201 responses from the community members, which included many drawing/photo/sketch uploads.  The Boulder Civic Area Team has compiled the final results of the survey into three collections.

To view a one-page overview of the statistical response summary, click here.

To view all responses to each of the survey questions, click here. pdf

To view all of the uploaded drawing/photo/sketch submissions, click here.

The purpose of the Design Inspiration Initiative was to gather and analyze ideas directly from the community. Some of the final designs may evolve from many of the ideas submitted through the online survey. The survey was unscientific and not designed to produce tabulated results to dictate final designs. Rather, the qualitative input from community members were intended to produce a wide range of creative, community-based ideas for the Civic Area. Staff will now take these ideas and present options based on the community input to City Council members, who will provide the final direction on the program elements. 

Thanks to the public and all participants of the Design Inspiration Initiative!

Illustrations from the July 15 Civic Area Open House now available

On July 15, the results of the ongoing Design Inspiration Initiative were shared with the community. The open house took place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) at 1750 13th Street. It was the same night as Farmers' Market, so attendence was steady all night long! The illustrations use at the open house of the Design Inspiration Initiative results can now be viewed.  Please click on the following link:

Illustrations from July 15 open house on Design Inspiration Initiative pdf

These and other results were also shared with City Council at a briefing on July 30, 2015.

City Council Actions for the Civic Area Project

Learn about City Council's decisions for the Boulder Civic Area.

The drop-down menu below lists City Council documents about the Civic Area redevelopment, including study session memos, ordinances and meeting minutes. Links are also available below to video of the City Council meetings and Channel 8 news stories related to the Civic Area  

2015 City Council Documents and Materials

Date Meeting Documents Summary

City Council

Study Session

On Tuesday, March 31, the Civic Area team presented a hybrid park site plan (based on input received from the community, stakeholders, and boards and commissions) as well as provided an update on the master plan to the Boulder City Council.
6/16/2015 City Council Study Session

Presentation and items from Civic Area Team to get direction from City Council to (1) receive approval for Civic Area Master Plan, (2)  seek direction from Council Members on whether the City of Boulder should submit a bid to acquire the BCH site on Broadway and Balsam, and (3) approve interim measure to explore additional office space in downtown Boulder for city staff.

7/14/2015 City Council Special Session This special session of the Boulder City Council was called on short notice to allow Council Members to vote to approve the acquisition of the BCH site at Broadway and Balsam.
7/30/2015 City Council Study Session

Presentation and items from Civic Area Team to update City Council on the feedback from the Design Inspiration Initiative. The initiative collected feedback from the public on design ideas for the Nature Play areas, the 11th Spine Bridge and the Bandshell.

10/20/2015 City Council 

City Council directs staff not to remove the seating from the Bandshell until after council discussed the Civic Area Plan on Nov. 10, 2015 Council Meeting

11/10/2015 City Council 

City Council approved plans to move forward with improvements to the Civic Area, but revisit the seating removal from the Bandshell at the next Landmarks Board Meeting.




2015 Implementation activities

Develop the Civic Area Park Site Plan – Based on community input and the council-adopted Vision Plan pdf, staff is developing a detailed Civic Area Park Site Plan.  Park improvements will be funded by the 2014 Community, Culture and Safety tax funding, which includes approximately $8.7 million to kick start the implementation of the Civic Area Vision Plan and will coordinate with the more than $5 million from the tax devoted to Boulder Creek Path, 11th Street lighting and Arapahoe underpass improvements.    

The Park Site Plan will be shaped by site analysis work and various technical studies, including the Canyon Boulevard Complete Street that began in 2014 and will continue throughout 2015.

Update the Civic Area Master Plan – In order to advance implementation items for the near-term and guide further work on longer-term investments, amendments to the adopted Civic Area Vision Plan pdf will be proposed in mid-2015, with the intent of replacing the existing 1992 Boulder Civic Center Master Plan.

Civic Area Project Phases

Activation (Events + Site Improvements + Safety)

Short-term Site Improvements

The Civic Area can be improved by enhancing a sense of place, basic physical transformations and tying the various pieces together to create a cohesive community destination.

The Short-term Site Improvements will fulfill the community's vision in three critical thematic areas: The Creek at the Core, Community Spaces, and Connections and Access.

Civic Area Safety

Throughout the 18-month visioning process, safety in the Civic Area was a consistent concern and theme to be addressed. The city heard the community loud and clear, and safety is being enhanced by:

  • Hiring seasonal ambassadors to welcome residents and visitors to the Civic Area and help ensure safety and provide information about events and activities;
  • Increased Police presence and enforcement of illegal activities in the Civic Area; and
  • Enhanced activity and programming in the area to promote eyes on the park.


The Civic Area is a beautiful, central backdrop for community events. City and community events draw people to the area, create positive experiences and foster support for future improvements.

More than half of the 27-acre Civic Area site is Civic and Central parks, with Boulder Creek flowing through the middle. A green spine that unifies spaces and provides natural beauty, ecological richness, shade, recreation, art and places to gather.

In 2015, activation of the Boulder Civic Area will be the top implementation priority.  Civic Area activation means providing, supporting and delivering a public space that is inviting to all users via events, short-term site improvements and safety enhancements.

Upcoming Events

Snow Much Fun


Central Park will glow with more than 200,000 LED lights from Nov. 17 to Jan 3.

Snow Much Fun


Central Park will glow with more than 200,000 LED lights from Nov. 17 to Jan 3.

See more upcoming events in the Calendar of Events

2014 Summer Games at BMoCA

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See full photo set in the Photo Gallery


Watch the Civic Area Vision Come to Life

View Full Site