Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Susan Jurow

Second Advisor

Barbara Buttenfield

Third Advisor

William Travis


This paper investigates the history of infrastructure, use of space, and most importantly the people of Westwood, a neighborhood of Denver, CO. Westwood’s history can be defined by three distinct periods: the process of becoming a suburb, the tensions around becoming an urban neighborhood, and the most current forms of reinvestment in the neighborhood. I undertook this project to combine my interests in Urban Geography, History, and Education, particularly social design for successful learning. My findings indicate that Westwood is entering a period of reinvention, which some would describe as gentrification. Nevertheless, the process of reinventing Westwood is complicated and the use of the space is highly contested. My research identifies who is reinventing the neighborhood and how this is achieved in order to emphasize different people and group’s agency in creating and defining a space.