Phoenix receives $25,000 for downtown urban design project

The city of Phoenix has received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Mayor’s Institute on City Design 25th Anniversary Initiative (MICD25).
The funds will be used to redesign a downtown street to improve pedestrian accessibility to the city’s Downtown Phoenix Public Market. An artist/design team will be hired as part of a city of Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs public art project to redesign one long block of Pierce Street in front of the market from Central Avenue to First Street.
“This project will bolster our efforts to revitalize Phoenix’s unique urban core as a connected oasis of shaded sidewalks, plazas, streets and open spaces,” said Mayor Phil Gordon. “The project, using sustainable materials, also will complement our ongoing downtown development efforts.”
The design team will reconfigure the street by reducing car lanes, widening sidewalks and adding built and living shade, transforming a hot stretch of asphalt and concrete into an oasis making the outdoor area more comfortable for pedestrians.
“The NEA grant to redesign a city block of Pierce Street in front of the Phoenix Public Market will help create a thriving pedestrian corridor downtown,” said Cindy Gentry, executive director of Community Food Connections, the nonprofit group that operates the market. “We are honored and delighted to be a part of the project.”
Phoenix was one of 21 cities selected to receive a grant from a total of $3 million. Projects varied from environmentally sustainable public art projects to development of isolated neighborhoods or neglected waterfronts.
“I am thrilled that the NEA’s vision of Arts Works has led to MICD25 and these innovative projects,” said Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “ I am confident that these projects will make a difference in their communities.”
MICD25 supports creative projects that contribute to the livability of communities and help transform sites into lively, beautiful and sustainable places using arts at its core.
The public art project was developed in partnership with the Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs and Street Transportation Department, downtown businesses, property owners and community organizations as part of the “Gimme Shelter Urban Shade” project.

Read the full article at the Phoenix Business Journal.

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