Daily Archives: September 27, 2009

Midtown Phoenix mid-century building imploded

For more information and photos, click here.

Now through October, go ahead and wonder about Phoenix’s future

wonderlandfront[Source: Phoenix New Times] Gregory Sale and Kimi Eisele have a simple, yet profound question for Phoenicians: Ever wonder about the future of this place? If so, you can immediately become an active participant in their interpretive piece “Go Ahead, Wonder,” which will have a presence at the “Phoenix as Wonderland: Art from New Times’ Best of Phoenix 2009” exhibit.

Sale’s idea for the piece — which is an amalgamation of media, text, photography, sound, interviews, and participation — was to envision his personal wonderland here in Phoenix as a community that gets involved with social issues.  The instructions go like this:

Leave a one-minute voice message, e-mail 100 words, or contribute at the opening of the “Phoenix as Wonderland” exhibition during October First Friday.  Offer your vision for how this region could grow/change/evolve physically, ecologically, intellectually, socially, emotionally, culturally, and/or spiritually over the next ten, twenty, or fifty years.

  • Out loud: 602-744-6527 (now till October 31)
  • In writing: visioning@newtimes.com (now till October 31)
  • In person: 1437 N. 1st St, Phoenix from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 2

“Phoenix as Wonderland: Art from New Times’ Best of Phoenix 2009” opens with a free First Friday reception on Friday, October 2, at [merz]project, 1437 N. First St. For more information, call 602-229-8478 or send an e-mail.

Survival in the Core

Fall 2009 KBAQ/KJZZ Wavelength article by Si Robins on the impact of the down economy on various downtown Phoenix proprietors.  Click here to review and download PDF.

Wanna help market downtown Phoenix?

[Source: CareerBuilder, Arizona Republic] — Downtown Phoenix Partnership seeks a responsible individual with strong writing and Web skills to play a key role in all marketing aspects of the Partnership.  The perfect candidate will not only be a strong writer, but will also be well versed in a number of Web applications, including Word Press and various social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr), and have the organization skills necessary to manage a team of volunteer bloggers.  The Marketing Coordinator will also be responsible for the creation of a weekly email newsletter; writing and editing a quarterly print newsletter; coordinating and running meetings with community businesses; and writing press releases and maintaining a media contacts database.  Must be deadline driven, well organized, and able to balance multiple projects.

2050 vision for metro Phoenix: 400 miles of new highways

[Source: Sean Holstege, Arizona Republic] — Picture new Phoenix-size cities beyond the mountains to the far south and west of the Valley, and you get a glimpse of how the region’s future might unfold over the next half-century.  Now imagine how twice as many people as live here today would get around such a vastly expanded urban landscape, and you begin to appreciate the enormous challenge facing state and regional transportation planners.

To cope with Arizona’s anticipated long-range population boom, planners at the Maricopa Association of Governments have sketched out a far-reaching network of new freeways and highways beyond the White Tank and Estrella mountains, serving an area larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined, and an urban landscape stretching as far as the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.

MAG’s plans envision 400 miles of new highways and 320 miles of rail track to support the millions of people projected to move into the vast desert area by 2050.  That would double the current highway system and create a commuter-rail network that would loop around the southern mountains and deliver a badly needed line to the West Valley.  MAG estimates that it would cost the region a daunting $60 billion to build all the projects on its drawing boards.

Residents already concerned about sprawl wonder, with traffic and air quality as bad as they are today, how unbearable metropolitan Phoenix will become with 8 million people living here.  Others react with skepticism.  They question whether the economy would ever be strong enough to lure such numbers of people here or whether sufficient water or electricity would be available to support such far-flung growth.  “Being able to stop all these people coming is probably impossible, but is this plan really possible?  Could this really happen?  And if it could, should it?” says Dave Richins, state policy director for the Sonoran Institute, a non-profit group that advocates desert preservation.

The strategy is based on decades-old migration and birth statistics and on existing land- development rights.  Long-range plans for roads to serve non- existent cities don’t foster speculative sprawl, the planners say; they anticipate what’s already in the works.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is looking ahead and next month will unveil an expansive long-term blueprint for the entire state.  The agency’s director, John Halikowski, described the scope as “breathtaking.”  [Note: Read the full article at 2050 vision for metro Phoenix: 400 miles of new highways.]