Phoenix (December 14, 2010) – The Gilbert Town Council has a big decision to make on Thursday with respect to the fate of a proposed downtown mixed use project.
Phoenix (November 29, 2010) – The Tempe City Council recently voted unanimously to move forward with plans to restore Papago Park and Mill Avenue. The Papago Park restoration plans focus on improvements to marketing and park amenities while Mill Avenue will receive some much needed clean-up and landscaping.
Phoenix (November 24, 2010) – Our favorite “small, but in the middle of it all” 6.6-square mile Southwest Valley city of Tolleson broke ground on a catalytic new landmark redevelopment project on Tuesday. City leadership sees the potential of other future downtown development opportunities to follow suit.
Phoenix (November 19, 2010) – The Gilbert Town Council unanimously approved an overall update to the Town’s General Plan which will place it on the May 17th ballot. Then, the Council approved a Minor Amendment to the current General Plan for a slight increase in density for a 27-acre parcel. The Minor Amendment was not included in the overall update that the Council first approved, so what happens to the land use designation for that 27-acre parcel if the General Plan update is approved by the voters in May?
Phoenix (November 16, 2010) – The downtown Scottsdale skyline may welcome new, taller buildings after the new City Council takes seat in January. The downtown infill-incentive district is the likely motive for the several rezoning proposals requesting greater building heights.
Phoenix (November 15, 2010) — East Valley Partnership’s annual economic forum in Gilbert spurred discussion about how cities should be planned and built for the future…for people, not cars. This discussion was led by Rebecca Ryan, who has conducted extensive research on America’s younger generations as founder of Next Generation Consulting in Madison, Wisconsin.
Phoenix (September 28, 2010) – - As President Obama declares the days of suburban sprawl over, he set aside $100 million dollars for regional integrated planning initiatives to support these new smart growth concepts. But will American cities take kindly to federal intervention to help wean them from dependence on sprawl? Livability Law’s Dustin C. Jones explores what this means for our cities coast-to-coast in this month’s Urban Land magazine.
Phoenix (September 2, 2010) — A downtown Tempe renovation plan will be completed in October and will then go to the City Council for approval, but actual improvements will likely take a few years and hopefully not compromise the district’s character. Tempe spearheaded a planning process to address resident complaints and breathe life into the streets surrounding Mill Avenue. The proposed renovations could lead to the most drastic facelift of downtown since 1987.
Phoenix (September 20, 2010) — The “Discovery Triangle” is a redevelopment venture that seeks to make areas of Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale a regional hub for businesses and residents despite the Scottsdale City Council’s doubts of its benefits for the City. Opposition from Scottsdale initiated a shift of the northern point of the triangle from ASU’s SkySong in south Scottsdale to Papago Park, effectively removing Scottsdale from the picture. Now SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, is poised to join the Discovery Triangle venture despite Scottsdale’s objections to participate.
Phoenix (September 15, 2010) — Some believe that the town of Dewey Beach, Delaware has enacted ordinances that specifically target Dewey Beach Enterprises (DBE), owner of “Ruddertowne”, a commercial district that includes restaurants, nightlife, shopping and family friendly activities. DBE’s efforts to protect itself with legal action ended with positive results for the developer after a nearly 3-year long dispute over a proposed mixed-use development.
Phoenix (September 14, 2010) — What was once known as the “hog butcher for the world,” Chicago is now viewed as one of the most forward-looking of cities, as exemplified by its public art, open space and ever-evolving skyline. Chicago’s transformation over the last twenty years can largely be attributed to the vision and controversial efforts of Mayor Richard M. Daley, who recently announced that he would not seek a seventh term.
Phoenix (September 13, 2010) — The Bidwill family, owners of the Arizona Cardinals football team, has a proposed development plan that will require rezoning of the 128 acres that includes the stadium and surrounding area. Neighborhood meetings have been the forum for recent debate of the proposed plan before the issue goes before the City Council in October.
Phoenix (September 10, 2010) — A billion people make their homes in the poorest neighborhoods around the world which is where the biggest cities can learn some things about sustainable living, according to architects and urban designers, Pavlina Ilieva and Kuo Pao Lian. Ilieva and Lian suggest that planners should recognize the community aspects of slums, such as the “favelas” of Rio de Janeiro, the “barrios” of Mexico City, or the Dharavi slum in Mumbai.
Phoenix (September 7, 2010) — The City of Peoria has crafted a proposal to spend millions of dollars to make over the exteriors of Old Town’s commercial center buildings to entice private investment. Peoria Councilman Dave Pearson is concerned that such a proposal could face legal challenges due to the January state Supreme Court ruling which dictated that public-private agreements must have direct benefit equal to the public investment.
Phoenix (September 1, 2010) — Our current economy has produced a number of vacant big box retail spaces which have spurred discussion about reuse and regulations. San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur and technology veteran, Gene Fredericks discovered an untapped opportunity to use these buildings (that some see as blight) in a sustainable approach to grow food.