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Planner Profile: Chris Geddes

NAME: Chris Geddes

TITLE: Associate

COMPANY/EMPLOYER: Design Workshop

Tells us a little about yourself professionally.
I am a planner and urban designer at Design Workshop in Denver, where I lead projects of many scales including downtown and community planning, campus planning, urban design, parks and recreation planning, design guidelines and project entitlements as well as site design and construction detailing for built projects.

Tell us how and why you got into planning.
After receiving by B.S. in civil engineering, I discovered that my passions lay in projects that can more clearly demonstrate the value of quality environments and one’s personal experience in the daily life of urban places. I enrolled in the UCD MURP program with the goal to have a hand in the design transformation of public space.

Tell us a little about yourself outside of planning.
I am a Colorado native, and am continually drawn to the abundance of resources in our backyard – both in our cities and towns and the vast backcountry. I appreciate a great local success story, a steep run at The Beavers at A Basin, and the glory of the 10th Mountain Division huts.

Who is your planning hero or role model?
I will forever be grateful for having been introduced to the inimitable Dick Farley and the influence that he had on my early in my career. Dick taught me that there is a craft and deliberateness to understanding how to effectively design public space to allow people to personally connect to their surroundings, and that our best plans don’t rest when you leave your desk – they should permeate the ways we connect to all that we do.

What makes planning special/interesting/difficult/fun in Colorado?
Growth. There is so much pressure on our urban and rural environments these days, and in the rush to react to a problem we often lose sight of the long-term effects of decisions that impact our quality of life. Whether it is solving the affordability crisis or addressing the now year-round traffic woes to get to and from the mountains, it’s a challenge to find the patience and innovation to take the long view.

What’s one place in Colorado you would recommend everyone visit or experience at least once?
The vast Colorado plains. The mountains may be our most notable geographic feature and the cities our economic engines, but plains offer a perspective of the value of hard work, respect for the land, the importance of conservation, and centuries of resilience.

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