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DENVER-US census director C. Louis Kincannon made a recent whirlwind tour of Denver, and came away impressed. “Standing Downtown, if you sort of closed your eyes, you could imagine you’re in a Swiss city, with the nearby mountains and the mixture of shiny, gleaming new buildings and old buildings,” Kincannon tells GlobeSt.com.

“I lived in Paris for eight years, which is probably the best urban city in the world, but Denver seems very nice, very livable,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “And Denver is much cleaner than Paris. There is no dirt or papers on the street, which you can’t say about Paris.”

As part of his visit, he took a helicopter tour of the 4,700-acre, former Stapleton International Airport, which Forest City is redeveloping into a $4-billion, mixed-use project, the largest infill development in the US.

“Of course, I had been at Stapleton when it was an airport, and you can still see remnants of the airport, such as the old tower,” Kincannon tells GlobeSt.com. “But it truly is amazing to see Stapleton and Lowry (a decommissioned Air Force Base being redeveloped.)”

He spent a lot of time with Jennifer Moulton, Denver’s director of planning, and was as impressed by her as the city.

“Jennifer Moulton has 10, very clear principals of how she wants the city to develop,” Kincannon says. “There’s no question of what she means. She provides a very good road map for the city.”

On a national level, he tells GlobeSt.com that he wants the Census Bureau to replace once a decade, long-term survey with an annual survey to give more current information on income, poverty and housing.

“It would show the changes that are happening at places like Lowry and Stapleton and LoDo,” he says.

Eventually, the plan would cost the same as distributing the long form, Kincannon says. However, it would need $150 million in annual funding from Congress to get it started, he notes.

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