Daily Archives: April 14, 2009

A couple night shots of downtown Phoenix Civic Space artwork

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A friend at Phoenix City Hall sent these over.

Downtown Phoenix sees fall in crime reports

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — The number of reported crimes in downtown Phoenix has plummeted more than 50 percent since 1999, and it dropped nearly 10 percent from 2007 to 2008, police statistics show. The drop is the result of old-fashioned police work, a national decrease in crime, and a downtown building spree that has transformed the neighborhood, police and other experts say.

Phoenix is in good company.  Several major U.S. cities, including New York and Philadelphia, have turned once-seedy downtown neighborhoods into tourist areas. But an expert says that even the most successful downtowns must always be mindful about public perceptions about safety.

The city has come a long way since strolling prostitutes were a familiar sight downtown decades ago.  And it’s gotten much safer during the last few years, too, gallery owner Greg Esser said. When Esser and his wife opened the Eye Lounge art space eight years ago, they were afraid to leave the door unlocked during business hours.  Now, they don’t worry about crime much. “Instead of open-air drug deals, there are strollers and joggers and a lot more people on the street,” Esser said.

Since 1990, downtown Phoenix has gained the Arizona Center shopping mall, two sports arenas, a larger convention center, a slew of condo projects, more art galleries, and an ASU campus, said David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. Now Diamondbacks fans linger in neighborhood eateries long after the ninth inning and convention attendees feel at ease roaming downtown streets.  “As we put more activities and businesses downtown that have later hours, we create more comfort zones,” Roderique said.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Help plan route for May 2 Jane’s Walk in downtown Phoenix

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[Source: Yuri Arbitise, Jane’s Walk Phoenix Coordinator] — The May 2, 2009 Jane’s Walk Phoenix will focus on the northern part of downtown Phoenix between 7th Ave. and 7th St, and Van Buren and Interstate 10 (i.e., Roosevelt neighborhood, Evans Churchill neighborhood, and ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus).

While this area in mind, walk organizers would appreciate your responses to as many of the questions below as you like (five would be great)!   Your answers will help in selecting a specific walk route and identifying features and concepts to point out during the course of the walk.  For this survey, “neighborhood” refers to the northern part of downtown as explained above.

In addition, with your permission, organizers would like to profile some respondent’s answers in the Jane’s Walk Phoenix Blog.  However, if you would rather your answers to be anonymous or confidential, that’s no problem!).  Just cut and paste your responses into an e-mail to janeswalkphx@gmail.com

  1. What are some important meeting spaces in your neighborhood? (important for work, food, thinking, recreation, laughing with friends, local politics — think broadly)
  2. What spaces are you most proud of in your neighborhood?
  3. What are some important green-spaces?
  4. What are some interesting short-cuts you take?
  5. Where do kids like to play? Adults? Retired folks?
  6. Where are some spaces that feel more private, like a small urban oasis?
  7. Do any buildings have unusual marks or features?
  8. What is your favorite adaptive use project? (older buildings that have been reconfigured into different uses)?
  9. Where do you feel most comfortable?
  10. Are there any important historical spaces in your neighborhood?
  11. Where do you not feel safe?
  12. What is a space that you really dislike?
  13. What is your favorite mixed-use location (places that mix retail, business, and residential)?
  14. Are there spaces you would like to see change?
  15. Are therer spaces/features you want to see preserved?
  16. Is there an important question or idea that should be talked about by everyone?