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.

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Downtown Phoenix is Fighting to Win HeatSync Labs

[Source: Sean Sweat, PhxDowntowner]

Opportunity Alert!

You may or may not have heard of Gangplank.  It’s “a group of connected individuals and small businesses [in downtown Chandler] creating an economy of innovation and creativity in the Valley [that] envisions a new economic engine comprised of collaboration and community.”   The small businesses that operate out of Gangplank are called “anchors”.  I won’t claim to be an expert on the group but, from what I do know, they are a hotbed for innovation, community development, and civic engagement.  Exactly what downtown Phoenix needs more of.

And I think we have a community that can be a wonderful home for such a thing.  So here’s the opportunity: One of Gangplank’s anchors, HeatSync Labs, is looking for a new home due to growth.  Myself and a few others have recently been trying to bring them here to downtown Phoenix.

HeatSync Labs is a non-profit hackerspace – a coworking facility that makes workspace, tools, equipment, and other resources available while creating a community of collaboration and learning-by-doing.  They work with software, electronics, and industrial equipment.  They also organize educational technology events and assist schools in science & engineering education.  This past Friday they just got a big plug from an adorable Ignite 9 speaker.

HeatSync Labs in action

HeatSync Labs is the kind of place that births entrepreneurs and innovators.  These guys create buzz, energy, and would add a brand new dimension to downtown Phoenix.  These kinds of people do things and affect change in ways that don’t always fit Corporate America’s myopic ROI requirements.    These are the people we need downtown.

Here’s just a few of the projects they have on theirroadmap:

  • Nearspace balloon
  • Wearable computing
  • Solar Concentrator
  • 3D printing & scanning
  • Open source night vision
  • Tesla Coil
  • Massive Trebuchet
  • “Junkyard” Battle Bots
  • and more!

HeatSync's nearspace balloon project

The more I learn about these guys, the more I like them.

They want to be along the light rail, and they want to be somewhere that can charge their creative batteries; a place with life and activities.  Mesa and Tempe are pursuing them – and we have to as well.  If downtown Phoenix is going to matter in 10 years, we have to fight for innovators and community contributors like HeatSync Labs.

Creative Commons

There are dozens of reasons why they would improve our downtown, but let me list out just a few:

  • We have lots of lawyers, students, bureaucrats, designers, and retail/restaurants, but no techies.
  • They generally use their space from 6pm-Midnight, which is when we need more people downtown.
  • They would contribute to downtown activities, community development, and hold events that would bring more people downtown.
  • It would be known that one of the best hands-on science education partners is based in Downtown Phoenix.  The collaborative opportunities with the Arizona Science Centeralone are intriguing.
  • As they grow, it would become known that Downtown Phoenix has Arizona’s premiere hackerspace (as opposed to Tempe or Mesa).

So them being here would help us, the residents, small business owners, and general believers of downtown.  They would bring the exact type of energy, intellectualism, ambition, and vision that our downtown needs, and assimilating them into our community will benefit us all.

We’ve found them a great space in downtown’s warehouse district which currently houses other small businesses, serves their very specific equipment needs, and provides them with a wealth of value-added industrial resources and event space opportunities.  It’s the best possible location for both their current and future needs — the kind of space that will fuel their imaginations and help them grow as innovators.  And we want that growth in Downtown Phoenix.

HeatSync having some fun with lasers

But there’s a but.  There’s always a but.

The downtown space, including the build-out, is slightly above their budget.  The Tempe and Mesa governments are in conversations with the non-profit HeatSync Labs, working to find them grants and funds to relocate to their cities.  We must do the same.  We need to write City Hall and encourage them to fight for Phoenix.

But in the absence of small business support from City Hall, we need to pull together as a community and make this happen.  Their move to downtown Phoenix would be a very visible move that would benefit us all in the long-run.  My goal is for Downtowners to raise $2,000 to make it possible for them to move here and give them an incentive to choose us over Tempe or Mesa.  If you will contribute something, even just $10, then please use the button below to email me your name and pledged amount [tax-deductible].  I will present the total pledges to their relocation committee in two weeks.

HeatSyncers' noses to the grindstone

To get things started, I hereby pledge $100. Please post any questions/comments below.

(Note that all HeatSync pictures came from their Flickr account.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Volunteer Opportunities Jan 15-22

[Source: HandsOn Greater Phoenix]

This year marks the 25th anniversary of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a federal holiday. Join HandsOn in following Dr. King’s example by serving others! We will be sewing to assist dementia patients, packing medical supplies for under-resourced nations, and staffing a festival to celebrate Dr. King’s life. We also need volunteers to paint murals, plant trees, and clean up local neighborhoods. Projects will take place on Saturday, January 15th, Monday, January 17th and Saturday, January 22nd.

Source: HandsOn Greater Phoenix

 

To view all of our Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration projects in Phoenix and to sign up, click here!

Want to see a Dog Park in Downtown Phoenix? Then Read This and Act!

Downtown Phoenix‘s St Croix Villas needs your help.  If you like any of the following things, you’ll want to help them:

  • Downtown Vibrancy
  • Pedestrianism
  • Community
  • Dogs

DOGS MATTER IN PHOENIX

In Phoenix the dogs to humans ratio is slightly more than one dog to every two humans — the Phoenix human population is 1,512,986 and the Phoenix dog population Is 768,000 (according to “Dog Fancy Magazine“).

There are only 5 dog parks in Phoenix. The closest one to downtown is Steele Indian School Park.  Dogs cannot travel on the Light Rail.

Information Session

The  “Ramada Inn Dog Park Endeavor”  will be discussed at Thursday’s (Oct 21st) Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition meeting. The meeting will be at 1817 N 7th St. at 7 p.m. (Phoenix Elementary School District offices, N.E. corner).

 

Public Hearing

St Croix Villas is challenging the Zoning Hearing Officer’s decision to turn the site of the historic Ramada Inn into a temporary parking lot. The “Notice of Public Hearing” for November 4th at 12:00 is attached.

Notice of Public Hearing

Petition

Here is the text of the peition that St Croix Villas is circulating.

Dog_Park_Petition (.doc)

“I, the undersigned, hereby petition the Phoenix City Council to create a public dog park on the northern half of the block formerly filled by the Ramada Inn Phoenix Downtown, a 300 ft x 300 ft property at 401 NORTH FIRST ST., PHOENIX, AZ 85004. The parking lot currently planned to fill this property will add to Phoenix’ heat island effect and will encourage more and excessive downtown automobile traffic. Our property values, and the desirability of our community, are based on both the current and potential ‘pedestrianism’ of downtown.  A new 90,000 sq. ft. parking lot is not needed and will reduce the value of our property and all downtown properties. A dog park balancing a smaller parking lot will mitigate these effects.”

If you would like to see a dog park instead of another parking lot in downtown Phoenix, please print it out and circulate it amongst your office, neighborhood,  friends and/or family.

Contact Sean SweatYuri Artibise, or the DVC to submit completed petitions


 

 

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Come ‘Radiate’ at Durant’s

Radiate Phoenix is one of the DVC’s favorite downtown groups. It is a non-traditional community networking group that supports Downtown Phoenix and smart growth in our emerging city. Launched in September 2007, the group meets on the last Tuesday of each month in new and interesting places throughout our core, and is an informal and fun forum for connecting people, ideas, and vision.

Radiate Phoenix is for people who care about place making, design, community building, and our vital urban core. They invite all those who are creative, entrepreneurial, care about how Phoenix develops, appreciate good design, have a social conscience, and enjoy converging with eclectic people. The goal is to activate spirited and stimulating dialogue around Phoenix’s emerging urban culture. To meet others who are making things happen…to connect the dots.

This month the group is venturing slightly outside of downtown, but for a great cause: to help the mid-town Phoenix classic, Durant’s celebrate their 60th Anniversary.

The restaurant will have great deals on beer, wine and appetizers and have even concocted two special drink for the evening: an Arizona Sunburst Cooler and a Cactus Flower Martini–perfect light refreshment for the hot summer. So whether you are a Mad Men fan, appreciate the great Rat Pack vibe or love award-winning martinis—this is a can’t miss event.

There will also be a film crew on hand on behalf of the ASU Stardust Center to ask YOU what you think about Downtown Phoenix community. Your voice could add weight to a grant application for sustainable urban development.

RSVP here and we’ll see you there!

Details

When: Tuesday, July 27th, 5:30-7:30 pm

Where: 2611 N Central Ave, Phoenix AZ (map)

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Planning Department asks: “Imagine Phoenix as the best it can be in 2050. What do you see?”

[Source: City of Phoenix Planning Department] — Phoenix is updating its General Plan — the comprehensive guide for all physical aspects of the city.  The city’s Planning Department asks you to participate in this process to help create the future.

What is a General Plan?  Why do we need to update it?  Why do we need a vision?  View this presentation to learn more.

Question #2: “Imagine Phoenix as the best it can be in 2050.  What do you see?” Provide your feedback by attending a Village Visioning Workshop or e-mailing your comments.

The results of asking Question #1, “What do you value most about Phoenix and why?” from the first set of Visioning Workshops (review/download PDF):

Visit the website.  Follow on Twitter.