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Saturday, June 10 • 9:50am - 10:00am
Transit Representation: The future of equitable empowerment within the urban core.

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Transit acts as the structural genome in today’s urban core, which consistently underperforms in underrepresented communities.  
The current research presents data on municipal infrastructures when talking about transit and marginalized communities. However, the narrative of ownership remains unchanged.

Using Chocolate Spokes Bike Studio as a case study, the research focuses on how communities directly engage transit options by establishing a fabrication center. The space develops micro-mobility designs to push infrastructures to evolve.

Located in Five Points, a historically underserved Denver neighborhood, Chocolate Spokes connects with local high schools to present alternative opportunities to neighborhood youth. Each semester the school selects two students to work with the shop. Each participant is exposed to skill sets such as computer-aided design, machining, and welding. Participants also experience the accountability of being a part of a small business. At the end of the semester, each student presents their experience to their community of peers. The opportunity to continue participating with the shop is offered if the relationship is successful.

Continued work with civic leaders expands the depth of participation of a neighborhood base that takes full ownership of the space, allowing stakeholders to preserve their historical moorings, generate employment opportunities, and reduce transit dependency. In addition, the narrative of domestic fabrication has drawn attention to the micro-mobility vehicle from individual users and commercial investment from beyond the neighborhood boundaries, creating a sustainable model of wealth generation. Collective ownership will allow the space to evolve in parallel with the community’s aspirations.

The approach empowers communities to rethink everyday patterns and establish a sustainable model that facilitates value. Chocolate Spokes present a vision that allows reinvestment to meet the needs of a community through ideation and creation. For underrepresented voices, the future of transit should create independence that is equitable.


Gregory Crichlow

Instructor, University of Colorado

Saturday June 10, 2023 9:50am - 10:00am EDT
PS 308 (Design Center)