[Source: Shaun McKinnon, Arizona Republic] — The Valley’s light-rail system received the top prize Saturday night in Valley Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards, a program that honors contributions to livability and sustainability. The rail system, which opened less than a year ago, was recognized for connecting Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe with a transportation network that contest judges noted had already exceeded expectations. “While light rail won’t solve the Valley’s transportation challenges, it offers a flexible and cost-effective alternative to the automobile and was designed to be integrated with all modes of transport,” said Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward, a community group that works on livability and sustainability issues.
The group presents its awards in more than a dozen categories each year to cities, community groups and private businesses. From among the category winners, the judges choose one to receive the President’s Award, the contest’s best-in-show recognition.
Metro Light Rail won a first place in the Livable Communities, Multimodal Transportation and Connectivity category. The awards are named “Crescordia,” a Greek term that means “to grow in harmony.” More than 150 entries were submitted for the awards. The rest of the winners:
- Civic Space Park, a 2.8-acre public space near Central Avenue and Fillmore Street in Phoenix, was honored for its mix of gathering spaces and storefronts, built with efficient use of materials.
- Her Secret is Patience, the billowing outdoor sculpture suspended above Phoenix’s Civic Space Park, won the top public-art honor. The judges saw “an important statement about fostering sense of place, community and pride.”
- Hanny’s, a restaurant and lounge in downtown Phoenix, won for its adaptive reuse of a historic building.
- Habitat, the living wall and garden at the Phoenix Convention Center, was recognized for its design and use of resources to provide a comfortable gathering place.
- Arizona State University’s Taylor Place, a student housing complex at the school’s downtown Phoenix campus, won for multi-family residential building.
- The headquarters of Sundt, a Tempe-based contractor, was recognized for its green-building achievements, which included energy-saving features and efficient use of materials.
- The Tempe Transportation Center won two first-place awards, one for industrial and public works buildings and structures, and one for its rooftop landscaping in the site development category.
- ASU’s campus solarization project was honored for an effort to generate more renewable power on the school’s Tempe campus.
- Burgis Envirolutions was honored in the environmental-technologies category for its organic-refuse conversion process, which transforms more than a ton of food waste each day into a nutrient-rich effluent.
- Phoenix’s Bag Central Station, a campaign to recycle plastic bags, was honored in the environmental education and communication category.
- A remodeled Sunnyslope office building was recognized for its side development and landscape at the remodeled 40-year-old building. Imirzian and Associates architects and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects were named in the award.
- ASU’s Polytechnic Campus was honored for transforming a site on the former Williams Air Force Base into what the judges described as a walkable, shady campus.
- The Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale was recognized for the work done to re-vegetate the site, the use of rainwater harvesting for water and solar energy to provide its power needs.
For a complete list of categories with merit award winners, click here.
One thought on “5 downtown Phoenix projects win Valley Forward awards (6 if you count light rail)”
As a downtown resident, I’m certainly happy that our little neighborhood is garnering attention, but how in the hell that flying jellyfish/cervix won an award is completely beyond me. IT’S THE ONLY NEW ART STRUCTURE IN AZ OF ITS KIND!
Award ceremonies and accomplishments recognized by large companies are increasingly meaningless. This is why.