HOW WE BEGAN
It all started with a bicycle ride. In spring of 2006, then-President of Colorado State University Dr. Larry Penley and the City of Fort Collins Manager Darin Atteberry were riding their bicycles through downtown, talking about creating better connections between the City and the University.
Within months, this conversation sparked the creation of UniverCity Connections, a collaboration convened by the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, and driven by the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, the Downtown Development Authority, and over 100 Fort Collins citizens. UniverCity Connections challenged the community to come together, imagine a great future and make that future a reality.
Collaborators created this Stakeholder Report that outlined the dreams and goals of the collaboration.
Eight task forces worked for several months developing their plans, and for the next several years using this vision as guidance for new projects.
During 2012, the Executive Team decided to renew the effort and reengage the community. In September, Renewing UniverCity Connections was kicked off with more than 200 Fort Collins residents. New and returning stakeholders created seven areas to focus their efforts, formed Task Groups to do the planning in each area, and began to generate new energy for Fort Collins.
In May - June of 2015, UniverCity Connections hosted a series of events called the FoCoFuture Forums. Each forum included several TED-style talks around the theme areas, followed by discussions at rotating table groups of participants with 220 unique participants over the four sessions.
In 2016, the Executive Team began to explore the issue of how to keep Fort Collins a place where all could Live, Work, and Play. UniverCity Connections interviewed employers, City government, citizens, and nonprofit agencies working on the topic of attainable housing in Fort Collins. About 30 people came together in a spring 2017 Housing Attainability Summit to brainstorm and rank ideas.
Currently UniverCity Connections is serving as a point of connection between the City, CSU, the Downtown Development Authority, and Bohemian Foundation through regular Executive Team meetings. In addition we look for ways to encourage citizens to get involved and to help groups collaborate for the future of Fort Collins.