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ASU to Host Latino Urbanism Symposium in Downtown Phoenix: May 4-5

The Latino Urbanism Symposium

May 4, 2011 – May 5, 2011
Wednesday – Thursday
Cost: FREE
Open to the Public

The Latino Urbanism Symposium, to be held at The AE England Building on Wednesday and The Phoenix Urban Research Lab on Thursday (both on the ASU downtown Phoenix campus) will highlight Latino Urbanism and its role in American placemaking. We will spend two days celebrating and understanding how Latino Urbanism is reshaping the American urban landscape.

Latino Urbanism is an emerging approach to development that responds to Latino lifestyles, cultural preferences, and economic needs. Through an opening design charrette, evening keynote address and day-long series of presentations and panels, the symposium will expand upon a growing interest in the built environments of Latino communities, focusing on shaping and incorporating Latino needs in the development of present and future places in American cities. Topics include:

  • Empirical assessments of the current conditions of Latino neighborhoods: health, walkability, safety and diversity issues
  • Implications for the design of the public realm: connecting social and cultural spaces in Latino Urbanism
  • Latino Urbanism vs. New Urbanism: Cultural implications of placemaking
  • The relationship between sustainability and Latino Urbanism
  • Latino Urbanism best practices and implementation strategies

Scholars have suggested that Latino Urbanism is an important alternative to conventional urban planning strategies in Southwestern cities, where Latino populations are expanding rapidly. Significantly, Latino Urbanism is often in keeping with the main principles of Smart Growth and New Urbanism: compact urban form, pedestrian activity, public transportation, and the importance of an active public realm. Latino New Urbanism has emerged as a movement that fights sprawl and seeks to preserve Latino settlement traditions and create healthier versions of the American Dream.

What can we learn from these traditions, and how relevant are they for urban design in the American Southwest? What are the needs and possibilities of new approaches to urban design in Latino communities? What are the most pressing problems to address, and what solutions can be offered?


Wednesday Evening, May 4, 5:00 – 6:30

A.E. England Building
424 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Keynote presentation by Henry Cisneros, Executive Chairman, CityView and former HUD Secretary
Introduction by Tom Espinoza, President and CEO, La Raza Development Fund

6:30 – 7:30: Opening reception
This event is free and open to the public

Thursday, May 5th, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory
234 N Central Ave, 8th Floor
To register contact

Panel presentations and discussions:

  • Patterns and Forms of Latino Cultural Landscapes (morning)
  • Latino Urbanism vs. New Urbanism (morning)
  • Latino Urbanism, Economic Development, and the Marketing of Ethnic Identity (afternoon)
  • Designing Public and Private Space for Latino Communities (afternoon)

Speakers include: Stefanos Polyzoides, James Rojas, Roberto Moreno, Jesus Lara, and Kevin Kellogg

Apply to Attend TEDxPHXDC in downtown Phoenix

[Source: New Times’ Jacaklope Ranch]

View from the PURL balcony. Photograph by HH Studio

TEDxPHXDC may look like just a lot of capital letters, but rest assured—it’s a locally based TED, or speaking series event, hosted by the Phoenix design community.

This year’s theme, Urban Catalysts, will bring several local design minds to talk urban design and ideas in Phoenix’s urban environment on January 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Urban Research Lab (or PURL).

Decryption complete. Now you just have to get a ticket.

Local designer and TEDxPHXDC coordinator Mark Dudlik says this year’s speakers were chosen because they’re “trying to help Phoenix be as great as it can be.”

Speakers include Cindi Farmer, a designer for the provost at ASU, Peter Wolf, an ASU lecturer and “recovering engineer,” and Michael Levine, an engineer and artist [ed. and DVC’s own Jim McPherson!], to name a few. Dudlik says full speaker biographies will be available online by the end of the week.

You can apply to attend TEDxPHXDC on its website through January 20. Event coordinators will then send out notifications and attendance is $10.

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.

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ASU Phoenix Urban Research Lab director named “Places” editor

Nancy Levinson[Source: Arizona State University] — Nancy Levinson, director of the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL), has been named editor of “Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm.”  Levinson will continue in her current role with PURL, a center in the College of Design, in conjunction with her new position with the peer reviewed journal.  Places is published by the Design History Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to establish forums for designers, scholars, public officials, and citizens to discuss public spaces.  The journal is published three times annually with writings focused on design, the arts, and social sciences.

Levinson will be replacing the journal’s founding editor, Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA, Eva Li Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Design in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.  Lyndon launched Places in 1983.  “Cities are growing rapidly and facing great challenges to do so sustainably,” said Levinson.  “I’m excited to be taking on the editorship of Places, one of the few journals devoted to the civic realm.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

ASU report examines new ideas for Phoenix parks, public landscapes

[Source: Arizona State University] — Flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, you become powerfully aware of a suburban landscape dominated by housing subdivisions, by single-family houses with large yards and private pools.  You will also see, interspersed throughout the vast expanse of residential tracts, a scattering of public parks and preserves.  But what role do these public landscapes play in a city with so many private landscapes, with such abundant opportunities for personalized leisure?

This question is at the center of the latest of Lab Report, an annual journal published by the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL), a think tank and research center within the College of Design at Arizona State University.  In a series of articles on projects in the United States and Mexico, leading practitioners and academics argue that postwar cities, like Phoenix, test the relevance of the traditional city park, and would benefit from new approaches in which landscapes are defined not only as places but also as large-scale metropolitan systems…

In “Connected Oasis,” Christiana Moss describes a proposal developed by the architectural firm Studio Ma, working as part of the design team for the Downtown Phoenix Urban Form Project, to create a “green grid” that would interweave through downtown Phoenix a network of linear parks, plazas, and courtyards with the goal of making the streets shady and comfortable year-round.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.  To download a copy of the report, click here.]

Can landscaping make Phoenix “walkable?”

[Source: Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic] — The skyline may be interesting, but it is not where we live.  “We should not care about the skyline but the streetscape,” says Nancy Levinson, head of the Phoenix Urban Research Lab at Arizona State University.  “The skyline of Manhattan is something you appreciate in New Jersey.  In the thick of Manhattan, you’re excited about the streetscape. The skyline is something you see from a specific angle.  Many great cities don’t have a great skyline.”

And it is that street-level view that is lagging most in Phoenix.  “All good cities share a common quality,” Phoenix architect Eddie Jones says.  “They are walkable.”

Phoenix doesn’t make the grade.  “Downtown Phoenix is not a pleasant environment,” says Dean Brennan, a planner with the Urban Form Project, a city initiative to guide development. “People don’t come to downtown Phoenix to walk around — not like they do in downtown Tempe.  In Phoenix, we talk about shade.  That seems obvious.  But when a building is designed, you’d think shade would be a critical element of that design, but it’s not.  Shade isn’t provided.  Maybe some trees or a canopy, but it’s an afterthought.”

The question is: If the temperature is 105 degrees even in the shade, will landscaping be enough to turn Phoenix into a “walkable” city?  [Note: To read this article and online comments, click here.]

Hear study results of reverse lanes to downtown Phoenix

The City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department and Arizona State University will present their findings on Reverse Lanes on 7th Ave. and 7th St. study at two public meetings:

  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 27, Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.
  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, Acacia Library, 750 E. Townley Ave.

The Street Transportation Department studied the reverse lanes to consider the impact that the lanes have on neighborhoods and local businesses.  The lanes provide north/south traffic flow and reduce congestion, but limit left turns during peak hours in the morning and afternoon.  The department studied crash rates, lane utilization, capacity analyses, cut-through traffic, and operational alternatives.  The city contracted with ASU College of Design – Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory to conduct a quality of life analysis of the reverse lanes.

The Seventh Avenue reverse lane, which spans six miles from McDowell Road to Northern Avenue, was implemented in 1979.  The Seventh Street reverse lane, which spans seven miles from McDowell Road to Dunlap Avenue, was implemented in 1982.  For more information, click here.

If Phoenix is doing form-based coding, can your community?

Form-Based Coding is a method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form based on a community vision and time-tested forms of urbanism.  Does your community or business have an interest in learning the basics of this method of regulating development in order to address the character of a development or neighborhood?

Attendees of FBC 101 will learn how this tool is used to define public space/street standards, building form standards, and the relationship between them.  The course will explain how to determine the scale and appropriate form necessary to achieve a predictable public realm.  Other course activities include an analysis of a community’s DNA, regulating plan variations, and understanding legal issues related to FBC.

This course is the first of a three part series to be offered in Phoenix, AZ.  For more information on FBCs, click here(Oh, and for an update on Phoenix’s FBC efforts, click here.)

  • Course Date: Sept 26 and 27, 2008
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Place: Planning + Design Academy, PURL, 234 N. Central Ave., 8th Floor, Phoenix, AZ
  • Cost: “Early bird” registration is $750 for private/corporate and $700 for public/non-profits.  Course is limited to 50 attendees, registration is not complete until payment is received.
  • Benefits: 14.5 AIA/ASLA LEU’s and APA CM’s.
  • Food: Yes!  Program includes breakfast and lunch.
  • For more information and to register, click here.


  • Shaine Alleman, Tiffany & Bosco P.A.
  • Victor Dover, Dover, Kohl & Partners
  • Roger Eastman, City of Flagstaff
  • Mary Madden, Ferrell Madden Lewis Associates
  • Dan Sloan, Esq., McGuire Woods LLP

National Trust officials tour Valley for possible 2012 conference

Kathy Adams and Lori Feinman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation flew into town last week to view Phoenix’s convention facilities; tour selected historic sites and neighborhoods in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe; and visit with area preservation advocates to determine Phoenix’s ability to host the 2012 National Preservation Conference.  Meeting them at Sky Harbor was Sally Forrest, National Accounts Director for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Phoenix Councilman Michael Nowakowski welcomes National Trust representatives Lori Feinman and Kathy Adams. (Photo: Midtown Messenger)

The three lunched at the Hotel Valley Ho, one of the National Trust’s Historic Hotels of America, and then drove to downtown Phoenix to tour the Phoenix Convention Center, the Hyatt Regency and Wyndham hotels (two of the host hotels), and Orpheum Theatre. Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Officer, and Jim McPherson, Arizona Advisor to the National Trust, joined them for dinner at the Rose & Crown Pub in Heritage Square Park (a large outdoor venue that could serve as the opening reception for the 2,500-plus attendees of the 2012 conference).

Phoenix's historic Ellis Shackelford House was decked out in the colors of Arizona's state flag. (Photo: Midtown Messenger)

On Tuesday, Adams and Feinman started off the day by visiting the historic San Carlos Hotel and breakfast at Palette in the Roosevelt Historic District.  Then it was a “timed-to-the minute” whirlwind van tour of First Presbyterian Church, Security Building (and ASU’s PURL overlooking the city), Monroe School (Children’s Museum of Phoenix), Phoenix Union High School Buildings (University of Arizona College of Medicine), Steele Indian School Park, Heard Museum, and several midtown residential historic districts.

State Historic Preservation Officer Jim Garrison and Modern Phoenix Founder Alison King joined the group for lunch and tour of the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.  Then it was off to drive by the Wrigley Mansion, and visit the Desert Botanical Garden, Gammage Auditorium, Pueblo Grande National Historic Landmark, and St. Mary’s Basilica.  Special guests “popped in” throughout the day to say hello, provide their perspective on preservation, and tout Phoenix as a conference site: Attorney General Terry Goddard (Palette), State Senator Debbie McCune Davis (UA College of Medicine), City of Phoenix Council Member Greg Stanton (Children’s Museum), attorney Grady Gammage (Gammage Auditorium), former Phoenix mayor John Driggs, and Arizona 2012 Centennial director Karen Churchard.

Dan Klocke (Downtown Phoenix Partnership), Charles Fortenberry (Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers), John Jacquemart (Arizona Historic Sites Review Committee), and G.G. George (Encanto Citizens Association). (Photo: Midtown Messenger)

Topping off the visit was a reception at the Ellis Shackelford House in downtown Phoenix.  Over 60 preservation advocates from all over the Valley (and Sierra Vista!), city officials, and downtown business group leaders attended.  A balloon arch, special signage, decorations, and flowers in the colors of Arizona’s state flag welcomed our guests from the National Trust.  City of Phoenix Council Member Michael Nowakowski, Garrison, Stocklin, Feinman, and McPherson said a few words, and the rest of the evening was spent enjoying each other’s company and dining on wonderful hors d’oeuvres from Catered by St. Joseph’s.  Gift bags courtesy of the State Historic Preservation Office and City of Phoenix were presented to Adams and Feinman, and each attendee received a small gift as well.