We are excited to launch a new feature here at DenverInfill: Denver’s future skyline in 3D!
Thanks to Google Earth and the new way they’re rendering buildings in three dimensions, and thanks in particular to the newest member of the DenverInfill team, Ryan Keeney—starting today we will periodically feature a collection of views of the Downtown Denver and Cherry Creek skylines with the massing of buildings, proposed or under construction, added in.
The buildings have been color coded to match our DenverInfill Project Map, where yellow is residential, orange is office, red is hotel, and blue is civic/other. We will add a new “3D Future Skyline” link on the right sidebar below the Project Map box so that you’ll be able to quickly access the current and previous versions of our 3D Future Skyline images. We plan to issue a new collection of 3D Future Skyline images on a quarterly basis or perhaps more frequently, as needed.
A few important caveats to note about the buildings modeled in 3D in these images:
- Each 3D object represents a simple massing of the building that has been extruded to the planned height of the structure. In most cases, buildings have step-backs and other architectural treatments that reduce the mass and scale of the building, particularly on the upper floors. Therefore, the three-dimensional space these buildings occupy in model form is going to be greater than they will in reality—an “objects will appear larger than they really are” situation.
- Similarly, building footprints typically have small setbacks here and there from the property line, as opposed to the simple rectangular footprint used in most of our models.
- The 3D model-making tools in Google Earth are fairly crude, so the purpose of our new 3D Future Skyline images is to convey a general sense of how Denver’s urban core is growing and densifying, not necessarily to show a specific building in three-dimensions. If you want to see what a particular building will look like, read the blog posts for that project.
- Uses within a mixed-use building are colored with a very “broad brush” you might say, with ground floors and other parts of buildings that are planned to have other uses, like retail or parking, colored as one of the primary uses found in the building.
- Google updates their imagery on a fairly regular basis (annually, it seems of late), so at some point in the future, when Google next updates their 3D imagery and a project has been completed, we will remove the 3D model of the building from our database because its physical representation will appear within the Google aerial background.
- Buildings shown in 3D are only those planned or under construction for which we have published a DenverInfill blog post. There are many projects “in the pipeline” or recently announced that we haven’t yet profiled on DenverInfill, so those project aren’t in our 3D model yet.
OK, let’s get to the images! Each is presented in 2400-pixel HD glory, so click, zoom, and enjoy!
Downtown Denver looking north:
Downtown Denver looking south:
Downtown Denver looking east:
Downtown Denver looking west:
LoDo and Union Station districts up close:
Central Business District up close:
Downtown Denver high-level overview:
Cherry Creek district looking northeast:
Cherry Creek district looking southeast:
That’s a lot of urban fabric-repairing going on!
As I mentioned, the credit for our 3D models goes to our new DenverInfill team member, Ryan Keeney. Ryan is a masters student at the University of Denver studying Geographic Information Science, urban form, and multi-modal transportation. When Ryan moved here from Indianapolis in 2015, he was amazed by the magnitude of infill occurring in Downtown Denver and was excited to witness its impact on the vibrancy of the city, so modeling urban development for DenverInfill allows Ryan to engage his technical skills while also contributing to the energy of Denver’s growth and revitalization. In addition to keeping our 3D Future Skyline files up-to-date, Ryan may also start reporting on new infill projects in the DU/South Denver areas on the blog. After graduation, Ryan’s goal is to start a GIS career in urban or transit planning. Thank you, Ryan Keeney, for your excellent contribution to DenverInfill!
I hope you enjoy DenverInfill’s 3D Future Skyline images as yet another way of experiencing the profound way in which the Mile High City is urbanizing and creating a more walkable, compact, and thriving urban core.