Blog Archives

Artists Wanted for Canal Crossings Public Art Project

[Source: Lilia Menconi, in the New Times’ Jackalope Ranch]

Phoenix much potential.

There’s been a bit of talk in the creative community about the Valley’s canal system (read this Arty Girl blog from last year about the Canalscape project) and now the City of Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs is accepting applications to enhance the design of major street bridges that cross the Salt River Valley canals in Phoenix.

The potential of this project literally stretches for miles — there are 181 miles of waterways in our city. That’s 56 more miles of canal than Venice, Italy. Suck on that!

The selected artist will work with the Street Transportation Department. The selection panel wants the design to “focus on the bridge’s concrete abutments, and metal railings and address the essential role the canals play in the history and life of Phoenix.”

The project is open to artists living in the U.S. and the deadline is at 5 p.m. Friday, September 3.

Get all the nitty-gritty application details after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Connecting a City -or- The Grand Canals of Phoenix

[Source: William Hanley, Green Source blog] — Having only visited Phoenix a couple of times, my understanding of the city has largely been framed by its location, among burnt-umber mountains in verdant Sonoran Desert, and it’s national headline-making problems: it was quickly filling up its valley with highway-driven, low-density sprawl and isolated pockets of residential, commercial, and recreational activity connected only by car.  But this morning, I attended a Greenbuild education session that featured two plans to remedy that disconnect between urban functions.  One is well underway, and the other is gaining traction in the community, the government, and the private sector.

The first actually provided the venue for the session.  It was held inside the former A.E. England Motor Company building, which has been renovated into an event space, gallery, and café.  The space sits inside the centerpiece of recent downtown development, Civic Space Park.  The public space opened in April, and it is literally at the center of the city, along Central Avenue—which splits the street grid into east and west sides—and bounded on both sides by tracks for the city’s new light rail system….

The core presentation this morning focused on a scheme that would create several such hubs throughout the city.  Canalscape is a project by the Planning Program at ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning that envisions the development of mixed-use structures along Phoenix’s 181 miles of canals…  [Note: Read the full blog entry at Connecting a City -or- The Grand Canals of Phoenix.]

Birdseye view of canals weaving through metro Phoenix

Here are views of Arizona’s canal system from a perspective you and I may not have seen before. Video courtesy of Salt River Project and remix compiled by ASU graduate student, Sam Feldman.

Attend the opening of Canalscape, Nov. 10


Canalscape one component of “Green Phoenix”


[Source: Arizona State University] — On March 10, 2009, ASU President Michael Crow met with US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to discuss a new initiative called “Green Phoenix.”  ASU, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, and other government, education and business entities, has devised a 17-point plan to make Phoenix a national leader in renewable energy, water conservation, carbon neutrality, sustainable technologies, and green jobs.

One component of this comprehensive, multi-faceted plan is a project called “Canalscape” which aims to re-imagine urban planning in metro Phoenix by creating vibrant living corridors along its nearly 200 miles of canal banks.

This podcast features a conversation with Dr. Nan Ellin, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs, and Braden Kay, a graduate student with the ASU School of Sustainability, who are working to advance this project through education and action.

Get the audio:

Take the Canalscape survey

CanalscapeASU and other public and private sector partners are exploring the possibility of creating vital urban hubs where canals meet major streets throughout metro Phoenix. These hubs could range in size and character, depending on community requests.  ASU students are conducting a public survey and would like your feedback.  To take the survey, click here.  

To view the program and slide show from the recent Canalscape Symposium (over 200 in attendance), click here.  You can catch Canalscape updates via Twitter.  

For those interested in the AIA Canalscape Competition, it will be posted here very soon.  A competition kick-off meeting and sign-up session is scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2009, at 3 p.m. at AIA headquarters (30 N. 3rd Ave., #200, Phoenix), with project submittals due Friday, July 31, 2009.  If you have any questions about the Canalscape concept or project, contact ASU professor, Nan Ellin.