Daily Archives: January 1, 2009

Phoenix gets light rail

[Source: Rene Gutel, KJZZ] — Phoenix opened its first light-rail line over the weekend.   The 20-mile line begins in the suburb of Mesa, goes through downtown Phoenix, the airport, and the Diamondbacks’ Chase Field.   It ends in North Phoenix.  The project is the culmination of more than a decade of planning and a $1.4 billion budget.  Listen now.

Viewpoint: 2009 predictions for American cities

[Source: Diana Lind, editor in chief, Next American City magazine]Next American City sent out a survey with four simple questions in it.  Carol Coletta, President/CEO of CEOs for Cities, gives her predictions of where cities will be in 2009.

What city do you predict will be hit the hardest by the economic crisis? The cities that were the fastest growing, like Phoenix and Las Vegas, and those most dependent on manufacturing.

Will there be a comeback in Detroit (beyond the auto industry, but in the city itself)? If yes, how?  If no, what will happen to the city then? Detroit can come back if the city finds a way to shrink sensibly and can make what remains less auto-dependent. Detroit, like many cities, must find ways to concentrate and amplify its strengths.

If 2008 was the year of “green” and “sustainability,” 2009 will be the year of…? Real estate vacancies.  Expect retail and commercial vacancies to have greater negative impact on communities than housing vacancies.

What is the story in your city that no one is covering that you think will make the news this year? Suburban development will be hard to fund and risky to undertake. With commercial and residential vacancies on the rise, many suburbs will be hard hit, fueling momentum toward central cities.

Happy New Year Arizona

Local filmmaker Jared Foster has always been fascinated with time-lapse photography.  He’s created his own collection of time-lapses, and found inspiration just by looking up at the Arizona sky.  He collected these images over the summer and used the best takes.