Daily Archives: October 27, 2008

ASU report examines new ideas for Phoenix parks, public landscapes

[Source: Arizona State University] — Flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, you become powerfully aware of a suburban landscape dominated by housing subdivisions, by single-family houses with large yards and private pools.  You will also see, interspersed throughout the vast expanse of residential tracts, a scattering of public parks and preserves.  But what role do these public landscapes play in a city with so many private landscapes, with such abundant opportunities for personalized leisure?

This question is at the center of the latest of Lab Report, an annual journal published by the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL), a think tank and research center within the College of Design at Arizona State University.  In a series of articles on projects in the United States and Mexico, leading practitioners and academics argue that postwar cities, like Phoenix, test the relevance of the traditional city park, and would benefit from new approaches in which landscapes are defined not only as places but also as large-scale metropolitan systems…

In “Connected Oasis,” Christiana Moss describes a proposal developed by the architectural firm Studio Ma, working as part of the design team for the Downtown Phoenix Urban Form Project, to create a “green grid” that would interweave through downtown Phoenix a network of linear parks, plazas, and courtyards with the goal of making the streets shady and comfortable year-round.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.  To download a copy of the report, click here.]

Arizona among the leanest states

[Source: Strange Maps] — Thankfully Arizona is not #1 in this ranking: the fattest states in the Union.   Now step away from your computer and give me ten push-ups!  Go, go, go, go, go!

“The Happening” happens to be happening in downtown Phoenix, Nov. 1

The Happening at Copper Square[Source: Arizona Republic] — The second annual Happening in Downtown Phoenix is Saturday, Nov. 1 and includes a loft and home tour, a pub crawl, the What’s Happening Street Expo, the third annual Parade of the Arts, and the first It’s Happening sweepstakes.  The festivities begin at 10 a.m. on Fifth Street between Roosevelt and Garfield streets and will continue until 2 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets for the loft/home tour and pub crawl, click here.

The event is sponsored by the Downtown Phoenix Partnership in conjunction with the Phoenix Community Alliance, the Mayor’s Office, and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.  The goal is showcase the growing array of living and entertainment options in the 90-block area that makes up downtown Phoenix. “We’re excited about this year’s celebration and the opportunity to showcase the energy and dynamism of the downtown scene,” said David Roderique, DPP’s president and CEO.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Business Facilities magazine calls Phoenix “City of the Future”

[Source: Jenny Vickers, Business Facilities] — Strategically positioned in the Southwest, the Greater Phoenix area is one of 10 U.S. markets projected to experience 85% of the nation’s growth over the next 35 years.  Greater Phoenix, which consists of the City of Phoenix, much of the rest of Maricopa County, a large section of Pinal County, and small parts of southern Yavapai County, currently is the 13th largest area in the United States, with an estimated population of four million.  The City of Phoenix is the largest state capital in the U.S. in terms of population and is the only state capital with a population of more than one million.

With a labor force of over two million people, Greater Phoenix is known as a business and innovation hub with international access for aerospace, high-tech, bioscience, advanced business, and sustainable technologies companies.  Currently, over 20 major Fortune 500/1000 companies are located in Phoenix, such as Allied Waste, AT&T Inc., Bank of America, Boeing, Google, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.  Honeywell’s Aerospace division is headquartered in Phoenix, and the valley hosts many of its avionics and mechanical facilities.  Intel has one of its largest sites in the city, employing about 10,000 employees.  Businesses are easily connected to the region, nation and the world with two major airports — Sky Harbor International Airport and Williams Gateway Airport — and a new light-rail system being launched in December 2008.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

PBS NewsHour reports on Arizona’s attempt to deal with urban sprawl

[Source: The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer] — Amid explosive population growth, Arizona tackles the traditional problems of urban sprawl as it tries to create a new model for livable communities.  In this October 22 news segment, Ray Suarez reports on the Valley of the Sun’s transition in the face of growing infrastructure demands.

Phoenix Rising group to meet Oct. 29

Phoenix Rising, a group of individuals interested in promoting a more vibrant downtown Phoenix, will hold its second meeting on Wednesday, October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at eye Lounge, 419 E. Roosevelt.  Guest speaker is Greg Esser, local arts advocate and board member of Roosevelt Row.  Roosevelt Row is the non-profit organization that furthers unique character and assets of the Roosevelt neighborhood, fosters a more walkable downtown Phoenix, and advocates for the continuing role of the arts to downtown’s revitalization.  For more information about the October meeting or Phoenix Rising, contact Grant Almquist.