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Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U S. state of Colorado. As Denver County, it is the second most populous county in Colorado after El Paso County, which surpassed Denver County as of the 2010 Census. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is located immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 miles (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (1.6 km) or 5,280 feet (1,609.344 m) above sea level, which is defined by the elevation of the spot of a benchmark on the steps of the State Capital building. The elevation of the entire city ranges from 5,130 to 5,680 feet, and, some sources, such as the GNIS data and the National Elevation Dataset mark the elevation at 5,278 feet, which is reflected on various websites such as that of the National Weather Service. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich passes through Union Station and is the temporal reference for the Mountain Time Zone.
The City and County of Denver has defined 80 official neighborhoods that the city and community groups use for planning and administration. Although the city’s delineation of the neighborhood boundaries is somewhat arbitrary, it corresponds roughly to the definitions used by residents. These “neighborhoods” should not be confused with cities or suburbs, which may be separate entities within the metro area.
The character of the neighborhoods vary significantly from each other and include everything from large skyscrapers to turn of the twentieth century houses to modern, suburban style developments. Generally, the neighborhoods closest to the city center are denser, older and contain more brick building material. Many neighborhoods away from the city center were developed after World War II, and are built with more modern materials and style. Some of the neighborhoods even farther from the city center, or recently redeveloped parcels anywhere in the city have either very suburban characteristics or are new urbanist developments that attempt to recreate the feel of older neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods contain parks or other features that are the focal point for the neighborhood.
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