Aspen History: ‘Bring streets back to people’ |

Aspen History: ‘Bring streets back to people’

Aspen Historical Society
One 6.5" x 4.25" b/w photograph of three city planners examining blueprints, in the Aspen Times on April 12, 1979 pg. 5C. The headline states, "Malls bring streets back to people." The caption states, "Aspen will be getting many improvements in the downtown area, including better lighting, landscaping, and sidewalks. Planners Karen Smith, Nolan Rosall and Jim Reets discuss the future of Aspen's malls."
Chris Cassatt

“Malls bring streets back to people,” proclaimed The Aspen Times on April 12, 1979. “The question of the spring is whether Aspen needs a larger mall in the downtown area. Jim Reents and Karen Smith of the City Planning Office, and Nolan Rosall, mall consultant from Boulder’s Gage Davis and Associates, got together to explain why they think Aspen needs malls. Malls bring the streets back to people … back to relaxing in evening to the sounds of street musicians, and back to places where locals and tourists alike can enjoy a downtown. The (Aspen) community has already made a strong commitment to an auto disincentive program, in which pedestrians are more important than cars. And Aspenites have made a commitment to the acquisition of open space in the downtown area. ‘Malls are just another kind of open space,’ he explains, ‘along with parks and playgrounds.’ The planners stress, however, that overall downtown beautification and improvement is what is important, and mall expansion is just one small part of that plan.” This image shows planners Karen Smith, Nolan Rosall and Jim Reents discussing the future of Aspen’s malls.

This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at

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