About Us

The Urban Lab:

An idea engine for a vibrant Fort Collins that connects ideas, energy, and expertise for a better community!

The origin of the Urban Lab was a working group of UniverCity, an organization formed to create positive community initiatives. The goal of the Urban Lab is to bring citizens, professionals, the City, and the University together to facilitate optimal design and creative solutions for a vibrant & healthy community. Created by engaged citizens, the Urban Lab is committed to smart and innovative development and redevelopment, and is a place a place for citizens, students, and professionals to create solutions for a vibrant and healthy community.

Fort Collins is a uniquely desirable and quickly growing small city and Fort Collins citizens have a strong voice in how the community is developed. Development professionals are eager to collaborate and test ideas while the City strives to efficiently and effectively meet challenges specific to our region, demographics and values.

Further, CSU employs experts in many disciplines and students benefit from applied research project opportunities.  The Urban Lab is a ‘living laboratory’ where specific community needs are identified‐ and the public, policy makers, professionals, researchers and students can collaborate to create, test, & implement integrated solutions.

Housed at the Institute for the Built Environment Routt Hall at the corner of Laurel and College, the Urban Lab has initially focused on the Mason District and aims to assist other areas within the community and region.

The District

The Mason “UniverCity” District is a dynamic and unique area that is quickly redeveloping.  It is bordered by Cherry Street on the north, Prospect on the south, Remington on the east, and Meldrum on the west.

The District and its multi‐modal transportation focus supports a well‐rounded and efficient mix of residences, business, retail, hospitality and entertainment.  This mix successfully draws people from throughout the community and University to come live, work and play.

This stretch of Mason St. connects and invites exploration of the adjoining neighborhoods and nearby destinations. It is another of Fort Collins’ jewels and deserves unique solutions for unique opportunities.

Our Goals

  • To support citizens and professionals interested in placemaking to test ideas.
  • To create a unique character and identity for the Mason District.
  • To promote a diverse mix of uses and eclectic architectural designs.
  • To invite a variety of connections and modes to get to and from the District.
  • To enable pedestrian, bike, auto and transit to function well together.
  • To incorporate eclectic and artistic features‐ both natural and built‐ that reflect the variety and scale of surrounding neighborhoods.
  • To improve alleyways and midblock areas.
  • To generate a holistic, healthy and regenerative living environment.