To answer that question I thought a bit about cities in history and their evolution.
A growing trend now is toward recentralizing cities by:
· bringing life back to downtowns with residential and commercial establishments co-locating where people can work and live in the same area;
· creating atmospheres with streets and sidewalks that serve as places for social exchanges and not just avenues of conveyance;
· providing nooks about town for outdoor living areas such as cafes and public seating areas;
· concentrating locations of establishments of art and culture; and
· having locally owned businesses and bars in a city that boasts a grand hotel.
Sound familiar? In that respect, Ouray may be ahead of the game when it comes to city design since it is a model of the compact city for today.
Ouray has moved ahead with energy efficiency goals and accomplishments, better securing needed water rights, and establishing itself with global connections through its increased popularity and notoriety worldwide, and it has become a sought-after destination for various sports such as running, ice climbing, biking and other activities.
Yet, a number of challenges to realizing the full potential remain. Aging infrastructure needs upgrading, street and sidewalk conditions need improvement, the development of the north corridor is of concern to several, and the dependency on tourism creates uncertainty and seasonal fluctuations. To capitalize on the path to globalization, technology upgrades are needed. And an export economy and development of sectors in addition to tourism are needed to create a continuum of economic prosperity.
Can Ouray do this? I believe it can with a continuing focus on what is important. I encourage the City Council and the community to keep an eye on the future and have a vision and the plans to achieve all that is possible for Ouray. If you look around, you’ll see that Ouray is poised for the future in a way that many communities can only hope to be.
– Margaret Henderson, Ouray