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Local experts and national author to discuss state of sustainability in metro Phoenix, Jan. 17

A panel of local experts and Andrew Ross, author of “Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City,” will discuss the current state of sustainability in metropolitan Phoenix at a public forum on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.  The event, free to the public, will be held at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center at 415 E. Grant Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., panel discussion 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., audience Q&A 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and reception with complimentary refreshments 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Panel moderator will be Charles Redman, Arizona State University (ASU) Virginia M. Ullmann professor of Natural History and the Environment and founding director of the ASU School of Sustainability. The current slate of panelists (with two to be added soon) includes:

  • Maria Baier, state land commissioner, Arizona;
  • Steve Betts, former president/CEO of SunCor Development and current Arizona District Council Chair of the Urban Land Institute;
  • Terry Goddard, former Phoenix mayor and former Arizona attorney general who now teaches a course at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus: “Phoenix and the Art of Public Decision Making;”
  • Taz Loomans, architect and writer/blogger on sustainability issues;
  • Kris Mayes, former commissioner of the Arizona Corporation Commission and current director of the ASU Law and Sustainability Program and professor at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law;
  • Andrew Ross, professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University.
  • Silvia Urrutia, director of Housing and Healthcare Finance, Raza Development Fund

According to Susan Copeland, steering committee chair of Downtown Voices Coalition, “Issues of sustainability are paramount to the future of Phoenix. Ross’ book is a great springboard from which to begin, or continue, discussion.”

The Downtown Voices Coalition is sponsoring the event with in-kind support from the Lexington Hotel in downtown Phoenix, Four Peaks Brewery of Tempe and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

Bird on Fire” is available at Made Art Boutique, 922 North 5th Street in downtown Phoenix and at Changing Hands Bookstore at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. It is also available at Burton Barr, Cesar Chavez and Mesquite Branch libraries in Phoenix.

Downtown Voices Coalition is a coalition of stakeholder organizations that embrace growth in downtown Phoenix, but is mindful that healthy growth should be based upon existing downtown resources — the vibrancy of neighborhoods, the strength of the arts community, the uniqueness of historic properties, and the wonderful small businesses that dot downtown. For more information, visit

Earth Day Phoenix 2011

The official Phoenix celebration of Earth Day will be held on Thursday, April 21 in Cesar Chavez Plaza from 11-2. The City of Phoenix Sustainability HUB will showcase most of the city’s sustainable programs in one location near Jefferson Street.

Within the  100 other booths you’ll find reusable grocery bags, Sun Chips (in the newly reformulated environmental bag), samples from Coke and Nestle Water as well as hot-dogs provided by Republic Services.

Come by and learn more about what YOU can do for the environment in your every day life.


What:                Earth Day Phoenix 2011
Date:                Thursday, April 21
Time:                11 AM to 2 PM
Location:          Cesar Chavez Plaza  (2nd Ave between Jefferson & Washington)
Who:                Everyone welcome
Cost:                FREE

FREE Regional Tree & Shade Summit in Downtown Phoenix on Wednesday

Growing Connections: Roots to Branches

Arizona and its communities face challenging problems with diminishing resources. How do communities do more with less? Green Infrastructure is a solution multiplier that provides cost effective solutions to many economic, social and environmental problems. All Arizona communities and businesses have a role in cultivating a healthier, more livable and prosperous future.

Presentations and a Discussion on Cultivating Green Infrastructure

The Regional Tree & Shade Summit will bring together municipal and private sector professionals for a one-day meeting to address the growing importance of regional tree and shade plans and green infrastructure to the long-term sustainability and success of our communities.



Wednesday, March 9, 2011
8:30am – 5:00pm


A.E. England Building @ Civic Space Park
424 N. Central Ave, Downtown Phoenix

Adjacent to Downtown Phoenix Central Station. Light Rail Use Strongly Encouraged


Space is Limited: Register at

More information

If you have any questions, please contact Anne Reichman at or call 480-965-2168.


This event is brought to you by: 

  • Arizona Forestry
  • ASU Global Institute of Sustainability
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Phoenix
  • City of Mesa
  • US Department of Agriculture Forestry Service

Sustainability Forum at Downtown Phoenix’s Convention Center this Thursday

The Phoenix Convention Center invites you to join then at their Annual Sustainability Forum between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.

  • Meet and network with local businesses, professionals and industry experts Learn how to implement sustainable practices at your business or home
  • Visit exhibitor booths

This event is free and open to the public!

Discussion topics and exhibits include:

  • Why Local Matters – Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona
  • Green Careers – Dr. George Brooks, Southwest Green Magazine; Phil McNeely, City of Phoenix Office of Environmental Programs; Mark Wilhelm, Green Ideas; Eric Frei, Waxie
  • Power of the Virtuous Cycle: Closing the Loop on Food Waste – Miguel Jardine, Vermisoxx
  • Green Lifestyles – Terry Gellenbeck, City of Phoenix Public Works, Steve Priebe, City of Phoenix Street Transportation, Tishin Donkersley, AZ Green Living Magazine
  • Holiday Menu – Jesus Cibrian, Executive Chef of Aventura Cartering


Sustainability Forum at the Phoenix Convention Center
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
West Building Arcade 100 N. Third Street

For more information call Michael Campos at (602) 534-6451

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“Spills, Sins and Starbucks” at downtown Phoenix’s The Duce Thursday Nov 11

[From: Rogue Green]
November Rogue Green will bring us back to one of my favorite downtown Phoenix hang-outs – THE DUCE! With nothing like it in the city, Steve & Andi Rosenstein, the Duce owners, are a breath of fresh air for downtown Phoenix warehouse district with their visionary space, Midwestern work ethic and love for sustainability and values-driven business. These are people who know how to walk their talk.

This venue will serve as the perfect backdrop for our very exciting November event – a special presentation by my friend and colleague, green architect and best-selling author, Eric Corey Freed.

After seeing Eric’s new keynote presentation, “Spills, Sins and Starbucks: How Oil Has Negatively Altered Our Built Environment” at 2010 West Coast Green in San Francisco, I knew I needed to bring him and his insightful talk to Phoenix.

This will be a great chance to be in an intimate atmosphere with some of the best forward thinkers around.

The event is free to attend, but we will be collecting donations for our “For the Love of Bundt” fundraiser which took place last month, as we are still about $1000 shy from our goal.

The Duce is offering a special 15% discount on purchases from R&R Surplus on the evening of the event to help contribute to “For the Love of Bundt” as well. Time to stock up on Champion gear & warm hoodies!

I look forward to seeing you there!

Msss. Champion

*     *     *

You can find more information on the Rogue Green blog or Facebook page.

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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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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:

LISC Green Development Center offers resources to “go green”

The Galleries at Turney, Arizona's first LEED for Homes Certified project

[Source: Teresa Brice, Local Initiatives Service Corp.] — Your friends at LISC Phoenix want to inform you of resources recently made available by the LISC Green Development Center.  LISC has been hard at work developing tools and documents that we hope you find useful.  Currently available here online are:

  • The Green Screen: A resource intended for you to use in assisting evaluation of greening opportunities of proposed projects, as well as helping you to guide Community Development Corp. partners towards greener projects.  It directs you towards the right questions to be asking at different stages in the development process.
  • Energy Star Qualified Homes Guide: A resource designed to help you and your partner CDCs get their projects on the road to green by meeting ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes standards.  A link to rehab guidelines is also available.  Resource guides are customized to your local office.
  • Sustainability Primers: Documents to familiarize you with sustainability topics, such as deconstruction and geothermal heat pumps.  Have a particular topic your interested in?  Contact us and we’ll add it to our list of primers in the works.
  • Office Greening Guide: Intranet resource to help green local LISC offices.  Let’s practice what we preach!
  • Energy Assistance Programs: A guide to heating assistance programs broken down by state.

Questions, comments, feedback?  Feel free to contact Madeline via e-mail.

Phoenix mayor to unveil 17-point “green” plan

[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon will use today’s State of the City address to outline an ambitious strategy to make Phoenix the first carbon-neutral city — and the greenest — in the entire country.  Green Phoenix, a 17-point plan developed in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, would require about $1 billion in water, renewable energy, public-transit, and other investments.

Gordon is turning to President Barack Obama’s economic-stimulus package for help, though he doesn’t expect to receive funding for every goal.  The mayor’s proposal, if fully implemented, would cut city-generated greenhouse-gas emissions by roughly 70 percent, or 430,000 metric tons a year, the equivalent of taking 80,000 vehicles off the road, based on one estimate.  The three- to four-year plan is essentially a mix of new concepts and projects already under way.  They range from providing bicycle rentals at light-rail stops to developing Phoenix’s canal system for recreation and business use similar to the Tempe Town Lake area.

In a bid to secure funding from the $787 billion federal stimulus package, Gordon and ASU President Michael Crow pitched the plan Tuesday to Energy Secretary Steven Chu in Washington, D.C., emphasizing that it also would create jobs and improve neighborhoods and health.  During the meeting, Crow said, he sensed that Phoenix was the first city to approach Chu with a comprehensive program promoting green technologies, which could be used as a model across the U.S.  “We put a new idea on the table,” Crow said by phone after the meeting.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

What is truly sustainable development?

The National Trust for Historic Preservation says the “greenest” buildings are ones that already exist.  Why?

(1) Throwing away buildings is wasteful.  Any new building represents a new impact on the environment, no matter how much green technology is employed in its design and construction.  We must think of our buildings and neighborhoods as renewable — rather than disposable — resources.  We need to reuse our older and existing buildings.  It makes no sense for us to recycle newsprint, bottles, and aluminum cans while we’re throwing away entire buildings, or even entire neighborhoods.  (Facts on the importance of building reuse are available online.)

(2) Saving buildings saves energy.  The retention and reuse of older and existing buildings is an effective tool for the responsible stewardship of our environmental resources — including those that have already been expended.  The continued use of our existing buildings and neighborhoods reduces the amount of demolition and construction waste deposited in landfills and lessens the unnecessary demand for energy and other natural resources required by new construction.  Reinvestment in communities also preserves the energy expended in creating the existing infrastructure, such as roads, water systems, and sewer lines and can prevent sprawl.

(3) Retrofit older buildings; Save energy and money — go green.   Historic and older buildings can be successfully reused for different purposes, and contrary to what many people believe, many older buildings can “go green.”  These green retrofits increase energy efficiency and reduce the other environmental impacts associated with buildings.  Green retrofits are also good for the pocketbook because saving energy saves money.  An increasing number of sensitive and successful rehabilitation projects demonstrate that historic buildings can be greened with great respect for the distinctive character that makes them so appealing.