City seeking a ‘dwell design’ |

City seeking a ‘dwell design’

Aspen has put out a call for a “dwell architect” – someone to create a downtown master plan with an eye toward enhancing Aspen’s public gathering spots.The city recently began advertising for the work and has issued a request for proposals, or RFP, from interested firms or individuals. Proposals are due July 30.”I’ve gotten a lot of interest,” said Lisa Baker, downtown catalyst. “In essence, we’re looking for somebody who can recommend a master plan for the core.”The area includes not only the pedestrian malls, but the broader commercial core – from Durant Avenue to Main Street, and from Monarch to Original Street.According to the RFP, the plan should address elements where pedestrians will want to linger or “dwell” in the core. The possibilities include seating and tables, a fire pit, a music venue, spaces for street performers, and information kiosks and signs to help direct visitors around town.The plan is also to include a schedule for implementation and come up with cost estimates for the recommendations.The city has already begun experimenting with encouraging dwell time, purchasing 16 tables with chairs that have been placed on the malls. The city had intended to keep track of the spots where they’re frequently used; instead, it appears the tables are used pretty much all the time, noted Steve Barwick, city manager. “Increasing the dwell time in the summertime is easy – it’s beautiful out there,” he said. “The winter is going to be more difficult. Maybe it’s increasing dwell time in the stores.”Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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