Renowned Culture: Goals and Polices

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Honor Our History

Goal RC-1: Preserve the best of our history.

Policy RC-1.A: Continue to preserve and advance Colorado Springs’ historic and cultural resources and integrate themes and features into design and development that represent Colorado Springs’ history and heritage.

  • Strategy RC-1.A-1: Consistent with priorities and direction from the Historic Preservation Plan, work with neighborhoods and other organizations to designate limited additional historic districts and apply the appropriate adaptation and preservation standards.
  • Strategy RC-1.A-2: Integrate historical themes into project design, public art, and landscaping areas of the city with a historic legacy.
  • Strategy RC-1.A-3: Continue to research, inventory, register, and secure resources to protect Colorado Springs’ highest priority historic resources.
  • Strategy RC-1.A-4: Promote education and programs that increase public awareness of the city’s historic resources.

Grow and Celebrate our Culture

Goal RC-2: Add to, enhance, and promote Colorado Springs’ institutions, attractions, and community assets integral to our local culture and civic pride.

Policy RC-2.A: Support existing and new Defining Institutions (Typology 1) for arts and culture.

  • Strategy RC-2.A-1: Allow for the addition of complimentary uses, services, and infrastructure to support existing Defining Institutions and tourism destinations.
  • Strategy RC-2.A-2: Support the creation and location of new Defining Institutions and Community Assets (Typology 2) as part of Unique Places.

Policy RC-2.B: Promote existing and new arts and cultural hubs, venues, and focal points as elements of activity centers throughout the city.

  • Strategy RC-2.B-1: Support the approval of development and public facility plans that include public art and creative and performance space as part of activity centers.
  • Policy RC-2.C: Increase accessibility and awareness about the city’s unique attractions, activities, and resources, across all cultural typologies.
  • Strategy RC-2.C-1: Partner with arts and tourism organizations, our Defining Institutions (Typology 1), Community Assets (Typology 2), and Cultural and Tourist Attractions (Typology 5) to market local arts and cultural resources.
  • Strategy RC-2.C-2: Use new technologies and communication tools to enhance notification, awareness of, and wayfinding for historic, cultural, and educational events and resources.

Create Cross-Cultural Connections

Goal RC-3: Ensure the accessibility and diversity of arts and culture opportunities throughout the city.

Policy RC-3.A: Integrate arts, culture, and education as part of the planning process.

  • Strategy RC-3.A-1: Include arts, cultural, education, and historic elements in publicly initiated small area and topical master plans.
  • Strategy RC-3.A-2: Encourage incorporation of arts, culture, and educational elements as part of privately initiated land use master plans through flexibility in code requirements.

Policy RC-3.B: Reinforce Downtown as an historic, cultural, and entertainment center of the community and the region.

  • Strategy RC-3.B-1: Continue to work with property owners and civic organizations to implement the Experience Downtown Master PlanA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. to market arts and festivals and incorporate creative placemakingIncorporating artistic or creative solutions as part of urban design and development. into new developments and redevelopments.
  • Strategy RC-3.B-2: Encourage the establishment of more and improved arts, education, and cultural opportunities in and near Downtown.
  • Strategy RC-3.B-3: Encourage temporary or short-term uses in Downtown to activate vacant storefronts or underutilized parking lots. This can include pop-up restaurants, pop-up retailTemporary retail shops where business owners can test products and ideas without committing to a permanent location. Pop-up shops are often used to help activate vacant and underutilized spaces., and food trucks.

Policy RC-3.C: Encourage the creation and evolution of Creative Districts and Corridors (Typology 4) throughout the city through support and attraction of additional museums, performance venues, and galleries for the fine and performance arts.

  • Strategy RC-3.C-1: Complete the first phase of a public arts plan focusing on city-owned venues and assets and expand to a more encompassing plan to include other accessible arts and culture.
  • Strategy RC-3.C-2: Enable the incorporation of arts and cultural elements as part of development and redevelopment in zoning and related codes.
  • Strategy RC-3.C-3: Consider the incorporation of public art and other cultural features when reviewing and approving design guidelines and form based zoning plans.
  • Strategy RC-3.C-4: In coordination with the arts and culture community, establish new Creative Districts and Corridors, such as an East Platte Arts District and Colorado Avenue Creative Corridor.
  • Strategy RC-3.C-5: Complete access, parking, and shuttle feasibility studies within targeted Creative Districts and Corridors, and implement agreed-upon solutions.
  • Strategy RC-3.C-6: Continue to make reinvesting in the City Auditorium a priority; to include securing resources for major renovation and incorporation of ongoing permanent uses that complement its use as a venue for events.
  • Strategy RC-3.C-7: Support regional collaboration needed to promote such corridors, which serve local residents, artists, and visitors.

Policy RC-3.D: Integrate the arts into the natural landscape with outdoor concert venues and public art in parks and along greenways to support Pop-Up Culture (Typology 6).

  • Strategy RC-3.D-1: Expand the Art in the Streets program and partner with local arts organizations to install additional public art features within public properties, including parks, greenways, and medians.
  • Strategy RC-3.D-2: Build one or more outdoor amphitheaters in locations such as parks and redeveloping or newly developing areas of the city.
  • Strategy RC-3.D-3: Support larger community gathering spaces with services and features including dining, restrooms, and universally accessible design.

Policy RC-3.E: Encourage the adaptability of public rights-of-way and public gathering space to accommodate a wide variety of events and exhibits.

  • Strategy RC-3.E-1: Through partnerships with interested neighborhood and homeowner associations and community groups, install community-defining public art.
  • Strategy RC-3.E-2: Activate redevelopment areas such as the North Nevada, South Nevada, and Academy Blvd. corridors with temporary arts and cultural events.
  • Strategy RC-3.E-3: Designate festival streets within the Unique Places typologies around the city that can be temporarily closed or otherwise repurposed for special events. (Also see Policy UP-1.B in Chapter 3: Unique Places)

Policy RC-3.F: Support creative placemaking and environments for artistic expression within Creative Districts and Corridors.

  • Strategy RC-3.F-1: Continue partnerships with local and state organizations like ArtSpace to develop attainable housingAttainable housing means decent, attractive, safe, and sanitary accommodation that is affordable for the full spectrum of the city's residents. While a cost of no more than 30% of gross household income is a good rule of thumb for affordability, there will be some circumstances where higher or lower thresholds may be more applicable. and studio space for local artists, similar to the Space to Create Colorado initiative.
  • Strategy RC-3.F-2: Expand allowable artistic expression in Unique Places typologies throughout the city, such as painted murals on the side of the buildings.
  • Strategy RC-3.F-3: Repurpose and revitalize blighted areas and infrastructure as places with creative public spaces.
  • Strategy RC-3.F-4: Pursue the potential for incorporation of arts and cultural elements as part of approved urban renewal area plans.

Policy RC-3.G: Empower neighborhoods to add music, art, and culture to their communities and community events.

  • Strategy RC-3.G-1: Encourage neighborhood-specific arts, culture, and educational opportunities in Neighborhood Plans.




Goal RC-4: Support and promote Colorado Springs as a welcoming place for locally-produced food, beverages, creative, and healthy cuisine.

Policy RC-4.A: Recognize and incentivize the production and procurement of local and regional food as fundamental to our city’s identity as a Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) city.

  • Strategy RC-4.A-1: Create a city-run recognition program that highlights restaurants, stores, and institutions that utilize and sell local and regional food products.
  • Strategy RC-4.A-2: Adopt procurement rules that encourage the use of local and regional food vendors for city contract.
  • Strategy RC-4.A-3: Support the cottage foods industries allowing residents to sell food, eggs, jams, etc. out of their home.

Policy RC-4.B: Encourage culinary events, collectives, and other food-related Pop-Up Culture that celebrate local chefs and food artisans.

  • Strategy RC-4.B-1: Continue to provide zoning and other Code regulations supportive of both temporary and more permanent locations for food trucks, and farmers markets throughout the city.
  • Strategy RC-4.B-2: Actively encourage the development and expansion of a public/ artisan market in the vicinity of Downtown and the eventual location of these facilities in other activity centers.
  • Policy RC-4.C: Support options for healthy and locally produced food.
  • Strategy RC-4.C-1: Support zoning that increases access to local food and supports urban agriculture.
  • Strategy RC-4.C-2: Identify and develop city-owned land for community gardens, experimental/educational gardens, and urban agriculture.
  • Strategy RC-4.C-3: Establish community-supported fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and community gardens with spaces for public gathering in parks, other City-owned properties, and available locations within public rights-of-way.
  • Strategy RC-4.C-4: Support educational programs for residents and neighborhoods about gardening and other forms of local food production.
  • Strategy RC-4.C-5: Develop a City master plan that establishes Colorado Springs as the hub of the region’s food shed, which directly ties local food production, distribution, allocation, and consumption to all areas of the city and forms a future policy framework to address local food opportunities and access.

Celebrate Our Partnerships

Goal RC-5: Celebrate the strength of and collaboration with philanthropic foundations, local nonprofits, and faith-based groups.

Policy RC-5.A: Build on the momentum of local organizations to connect residents with community-based resources and activities.

  • Strategy RC-5.A-1: Identify opportunities to partner with existing facilities, particularly schools, churches, nonprofits, and shopping malls to make their facilities available for civic and cultural purposes.
  • Strategy RC-5.A-2: Collaborate with organizations that promote and coordinate cultural events in the city.
  • Strategy RC-5.A-3: Support plans for facilities that proactively and holistically address the mental health needs of our community, and that are reasonably and appropriately integrated with surrounding land uses.
  • Strategy RC-5.A-4: Engage with and support the full diversity and under-represented populations of our community in the planning for city-related arts and culture facilities and events.

Policy RC-5.B: Maintain and financially support the sustainability of arts and cultural programming, facilities and initiatives of our Community Assets (Typology 2).

  • Strategy RC-5.B-1: Explore available and dedicated funding sources for the arts associated with municipal projects.
  • Strategy RC-5.B-2: Coordinate with and support grant funding, nonprofit arts groups, and private contributions to sustain public arts.
  • Strategy RC-5.B-3: Partner with special districts, such as Business Improvement Districts, General Improvement Districts, and Local Improvement Districts, to integrate and fund public art programs and events.

Strengthen Our Educational Resources

Goal RC-6: Strengthen and diversify the range of educational and lifelong learning opportunities and resources in Colorado Springs.

Policy RC-6.A: Reinforce the city’s Defining Institutions and Community Assets as hubs of educational activity.

  • Strategy RC-6.A-1: Partner with the city’s institutions of higher learning on their plans for growth, adaptation, and reinvestment.
  • Strategy RC-6.A-2: Provide or allow for a full range of complementary uses to support Defining Institutions, including housing options, retail, lodging, allied businesses, and access to transit.

Policy RC-6.B: Support a network of public resources, schools, community centers and other Community Assets that address the city’s educational and training needs and also function as places for community activity.

  • Strategy RC-6.B-1: Review and approve plans for new or redeveloped educational facilities and other Community Assets (Typology 2) to enhance integration within the surrounding neighborhood with an emphasis on access connectivity.
  • Strategy RC-6.B-2: Support the adaptive reuse of existing educational facilities.
  • Strategy RC-6.B-3: Modify zoning and other requirements to encourage the integration of educational uses in older traditional retail areas.
  • Strategy RC-6.B-4: Actively encourage arrangements between educational institutions, local arts agencies, cultural websites, online community calendars, and the City and other properties for shared use of assets such as parks, athletic facilities, and parking.