Denver is a bustling city of more than 600,000 people supporting a fast-growing metropolitan area of nearly 3 million people. The city embraces its cowboy and mining past but also looks toward the future with a vibrant arts and performing arts scene, dozens of great outdoor festivals, and distinct neighborhoods each offering a unique experience. You'll find everything a cosmopolitan city has to offer including a spectacular view of and easy access to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which are only 12 miles (19 km) west of town. Denver does have its growing pains. Urban sprawl is becoming a problem, with the metropolitan area sometimes growing faster than the infrastructure can really handle, especially with public transportation. Denver is generally a driving city, and some problems with pollution and traffic are a part of everyday life. Large mass transportation and freeway expansion projects have recently been completed, including the popular light rail system.