Blog Archives

An evening of “Urban Is” with Vital Voices

Vital Voices Urban eventConsider coming to support Vital Voices as we explore “Urban is” with Bboy House at the Cyphers Center for Urban Arts, Thursday, August 15.  The Herberger Institute’s Socially Engaged Practice is teaming up with Project Humanities this year to help design these participatory, thought-provoking evenings of community dialogue.

Events are free and refreshments are provided.

How We Rebuild Neighborhoods After Foreclosures Explored by @ThePublicSquare

Zócalo Public Square foreclosure event PhoenixWhile the foreclosure crisis is starting to ease across Arizona and the country, neighborhoods still must reckon with the damage.

In what looks to be a great program, Zócalo Public Square and Arizona State University host an event on Monday, February 11, at the Heard Museum. The 6:30 pm event brings together a talented panel:

  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis economist William R. Emmons
  • Arizona State University geographer Deirdre Pfeiffer
  • Mortgage Resolution Partners CEO Graham Williams

The moderator will be Fernanda Santos, Phoenix Bureau Chief for the New York Times.

More information is here.

Zocalo Public Square February 11 event Foreclosures LOGO

ASU Lifelong Learning Institute Launches

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute logoWant a sample of what the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will offer in the downtown Phoenix campus? Everyone is welcome on January 12, 2:00 to 4:00, to hear from three scholars.

More detail is here.

RSVP to this free event by January 9, 2013 to 602-543-6440.

NEW Lifelong Learning Program at @asudpc ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at ASU

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at ASU is pleased to announce the opening of a new Downtown Phoenix campus program. The “A Taste of OLLI” grand launch will take place on Jan. 12 at the Cronkite Theatre in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Building. The OLLI program provides short courses and lectures for participants ages 50 + at a nominal cost. Courses will be held at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus with most courses running four sessions.

All spring courses or lectures are taught by ASU professors, or emeritus professors in the fields of history, science, public health and current events. This will be a wonderful opportunity for residents of the Phoenix inner city area to be a part of the ASU community with courses designed specifically for them.

Among the course titles for the spring are: “History Detectives,” “Children and Adolescents within U.S. Culture and the Legal System,” and titles of some of the lectures are “The First 100 Years of Quantum Physics,” and “Crime, Violence and Public Health.”

The Spring Schedule will be available online in mid-December and available in print form after Jan. 1, 2013. Call Shirley Talley at 602 496-1191 or go here for more information or to register for classes.

Former A.G. and Phoenix mayor to teach ASU course in the Fall

Terry Goddard, the former Arizona Attorney General from 2003-2011 and former Mayor of Phoenix from 1984-1990, will be teaching a course at ASU’s School of Public Affairs in the Fall 2011 semester.

PAF 591 Phoenix and the Art of Public Decision Making is a new course elective for Fall 2011.
The course meets Tuesdays, 5:40-8:30 PM in UCENT 213. The class # is 88238.

The course is open to graduate students from across ASU, and also highly motivated undergraduate students. (Students in Barrett, the Honors College, may register.)

Instructor: Samuel Pearson “Terry” Goddard III was the Attorney General of Arizona, from 2003 to 2011, and also served as Mayor of Phoenix, Arizona from 1984 to 1990.

Course description: The course will provide a case history examination of efforts to include significant public participation in the major decisions facing Phoenix between 1984 and 1990. The course will examine some of the critical issues facing Phoenix 25 years ago and how public participation was encouraged and the extent to which it was achieved. In this context, participation is not defined as opposition to the latest zoning outrage or to public officials run amok, but how a city can engage large numbers of citizens as constructive players in public decisions. Phoenix during this period tried many different ways to bring the non-lobbyist public “into the room”, some successful, others not so much.

Mayor Goddard’s campaign slogan to “Open the Doors to City Hall” got the ball rolling, but how to take the Open Door concept beyond campaign rhetoric was a challenge few if any municipalities have taken so seriously. Issues to be examined include the adoption of Council districts, establishing and locating a homeless shelter, the Village Planning Process in planning and zoning, stimulating arts, culture and historic preservation, adopting a city logo, billboards and the control of visual blight, locating major entertainment venues such as Desert Sky Pavilion and the Suns Arena, and, finally, the comprehensive strategic planning process known as the Phoenix Futures Forum. During this time, thousands of nonelected volunteers took on significant responsibility for the future of their city. The class will discuss the actual impact of this involvement as well as the practical and philosophical limits to public involvement in government. Did the various programs survive to the present day? Why and why not. Today, as high expectations for government seem more and more disconnected from personal responsibility and involvement, and public confidence in governance at all levels plummets, the lessons from Phoenix in opening the door to citizen participation are particularly relevant.

For more information and to register, check the ASU catalog.

Family-friendly Frights & Fun in Downtown Phoenix

Halloween is fast approaching.  as you can see by our color scheme, it is one of our favorite holidays :-) and we are always looking for fun ways of celebrating!

In addition to the usual adult fright-fare, there are several fun events that cater to families occurring in downtown Phoenix.  Here’s a few of our favorites:

Friday, October 29

2nd Annual Zombie Walk

There are plenty of urban legends, like the one that suggests if there was no more room in hell, the dead would walk the Earth. Well, we’ve started an urban legend in the heart of the urban core and you’re invited to walk it in your best zombie get up, bandages and blood a plus. Led by Arizona’s official Ghostbusters (including car, proton packs and more), Zombie walkers will parade, or walk straight legged, throughout downtown entertaining or terrorizing a few folks strolling around the Arizona Center, Hyatt Regency and U.S. Airway Center.

Details HERE.

All Hallows Even Festival

Families are invited to join in the festival that includes a costume contest, live music, Rose & Crown Beer Garden, pumpkin carving, palm readers, food, crafts and more.

Also don’t miss the special showing of the silent Dracula flick, “Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror,” to be shown outside on the wall of the Arizona Science Center. Move over “Twilight,” we’re putting the “old school bite” back in Halloween.

Details HERE.

Friday, October 29 and Saturday October, 30

Ghosts of Phoenix Tours

The Hotel San Carlos is famous for its history and alleged hauntings. It has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Weird Travels” and received the #3 spot on’s list of “America’s Top 10 Haunted Hotels.” The Ghosts of Phoenix Tour is a walking tour (approximately one hour long), that allows you to see the sites and form your own opinion. We have access to areas that are not open to the general public.

As you are guided through this Phoenix landmark, you will visit the paranormal hotspots and hear stories about the personalities who are said to haunt them. Guides will provide some historical information, along with stories passed down by staff members and past guests.

The Ghosts of Phoenix Tour does not stage re-creations or special effects. Your tour will be authentic. You will want to bring along a camera (digital, disposable cameras with flash, or video). You never know what you will catch on film.

Details HERE.

Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31

Mad Scientist Party at Arizona Science Center

For parents looking to bring their little ghosts, goblins and princesses to a fun and safe alternative to trick-or-treating, Arizona Science Center presents the Mad Scientist Party. Arizona Science Center’s exhibit galleries will be transformed into mad scientist labs exploring a variety of hands-on, ooey-gooey science themes.

We will explode pumpkins every hour! ASU Spider Lab will be here on Sunday, Oct 31st from 10am-1pm with many eight-legged friends. Activities will range from “Bloody” hand prints, slime, Eyeball Dissections and more! There will even be special-themed presentations in the Dorrance Planetarium!

Details HERE.

Enhanced by Zemanta

ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus celebrates Homecoming

[Source: ASU News]

Downtown Phoenix’s urban tapestry will be splashed with more than a touch of maroon and gold as ASU prepares for Homecoming.

Throughout the week, ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus will host a slew of pride and spirit-building events for 2010 Devilish Homecoming.

Beads, pom-poms, banners, balloons, footballs, floats will fill out the downtown landscape as students prepare to show their school pride.

“Bleeding maroon and gold for this year’s Devilish Homecoming will be easy for students, faculty and staff on the ASU Phoenix Downtown campus. These student-planned events – from donating your hair and blood for good causes to exploring the Arizona Science Center for an all night exclusive to ASU students – is sure to bring out much of ASU’s spirit and pride,” said Cassandra Aska, Student Engagement director. “There is something for everyone to show their love for ASU.”

Scheduled DPC activities for Homecoming 2010 week includes:

  • Homecoming Coronation, 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 22, Memorial Union, Turquoise room, Tempe campus.
  • Sparky’s Challenge, Kickball Tournament, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1134 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. (Field is located on 1st Street)
  • Locks of Love & Bald for Bucks hair donation and fundraising, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25, at Taylor Mall, 6 to 11 p.m.
  • Office Decorating Contest, Tuesday, Oct. 26, all ASU Downtown Phoenix campus buildings and members of the Use it Here Program.
  • Devil City, Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, at the Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix.
  • Mini- Root Beer Float building, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, at Taylor Mall.
  • FestDevil Float Building Party and blood drive, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 29, at Taylor Mall. Parade Float Building unveiled 9 p.m., Taylor Place, 120 E. Taylor Place.
  • ASU Homecoming 2010 block party, parade and game, Saturday, Oct. 30, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe. Join the universitywide festivities on the Tempe campus three hours before the Sun Devils take on the Washington State Cougars. The DPC will have a tent on location, which will include refreshments, prizes and activities for kids.

To register or RSVP for homecoming activities, e-mail or visit

Enhanced by Zemanta

Smell a rat? It could be from the downtown Phoenix Ramada Inn

[Source: Emily Gersema,’s PHX Beat]

They’re getting in tuition-free.

ASU officials have told students, faculty and staff to be on the lookout for rodents on the run from the nearby Ramada Inn near Third and Taylor streets that the city is tearing down for a new parking lot. Officials ask that all rodent sightings be reported to campus officials.

The memo sent Tuesday campus-wide says rats and mice are apparently fleeing the old Ramada Inn at Taylor and Third streets for a safer home elsewhere –and the ASU campus across the street could be their refuge.

“The city is addressing this issue at the site and we are working with pest management to control and eliminate this influx on and around campus,” wrote Cathie M. Fox, ASU director of facilities and property management.

Fox said rats have been seen at the Nursing and Health Innovation building northeast of the Ramada Inn, and at the University Center, west of the inn.

She offered these tips:

  1. Do not leave food out. All food should be stored and disposed of in sealed containers.
  2. Keep candies in sealed containers.
  3. Dispose of food in the large trash bins central to each floor, which are emptied by cleaning staff each evening.  Don’t throw it away at your desk bin, which could draw critters.
  4. Report leaks or pools of water inside of building.. Building engineers will take corrective action as necessary. And report any sightings or remnants of rodents to
Enhanced by Zemanta

New Urbanist Leader Andrés Duany to Speak in Downtown Phoenix

The Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL) and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University (ASU) are  hosting a lectures in downtown Phoenix by new urbanist luminary Andrés Duany on Wednesday, October 13.

Duany and his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, founded Duany Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in 1980. DPZ became a leader in the national movement called the New Urbanism, which seeks to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment.

The firm received international recognition in the 1980s as the designer of Seaside, Floridaand Kentlands, Maryland. Duany also led the development of comprehensive municipal zoningordinances that prescribe urban plans for a variety uses and densities.

Planning for the 21st Century

Duany will be speaking at the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL),  234 N. Central Ave, 8th fl. (map) at 2:00 pm on October 13th.

In this lecture, Andrés Duany will challenge us to look at the future of American cities in a new light. How do the current crises of global recession and climate change affect how we design and build cities? Sprawl is the least sustainable growth pattern, yet it still represents a major portion of the built environment – how will we adapt, repair, and rebuild it? Duany will propose new ideas and innovative strategies for rebuilding sustainable communities in the 21st century.

For those looking for a double dose of new urbanism, that morning you can hope on the light rail and catch Duany’s morning presentation on Agrarian Urbanism at ASU Tempe’s Memorial Union 230, Pima Auditorium (map) at 9:00 am.

Event flyer (pdf)

These lectures are free and open to the public. However, seating is limited.  So if you are interested in attending, RSVP to soon as it is expected to fill up fast.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ramada razing in downtown Phoenix begins

[Source: Emily Gersema, The Arizona Republic]

Image Credit: Blooming Rock on Facebook

The walls began tumbling down at the old Ramada Inn in downtown Phoenix last week, but some neighbors want to stop the city from turning the site into a parking lot.

Crews with contractor Johnson Carlier have been stripping materials from the hotel at Taylor and First streets where Marilyn Monroe stayed during the filming of the 1956 “Bus Stop.”

Members of the community organization Downtown Voices Coalition have tried to fight the demolition, arguing that the site has historical value, but the city recently won a temporary, five-year permit for a parking lot at the site.

The St. Croix Villas Homeowners Association on Thursday filed an appeal with the Phoenix Board of Adjustment to oppose the permit, said Sean Sweat, a treasurer for the HOA. The condo community is two blocks north of the site.

“Maybe someday the law school will go there,” Sweat said, “but in the interim, let’s not have another damn parking lot in (downtown) Phoenix.”

Sweat said residents would prefer to see some sort of civic space – such as a park – replace the building.

The board scheduled a hearing for the appeal at its Oct. 7 meeting.

The city sought the five-year parking designation to give Arizona State University more time to obtain the capital it needs to build a college of law.

The city bought the Ramada Inn property earlier this year for about $6 million, largely from bond funds, and has been working for weeks on stripping the building of doors and other recyclable materials, and asbestos removal. Johnson Carlier is handling the demolition for $742,000.

The parking lot will have 250 spaces. The Sheraton Hotel is expected to use the lot for overflow, and Channel 12 (KPNX) may work out a deal to park its TV satellite trucks there.

Enhanced by Zemanta