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dtnphx Nov 23, 2009 9:47 PM

Don. You have an extraordinarily jaded thought process and continue to believe that the world is not only flat, but it is flat because it is trying to somehow upsurp your life goals in some way. Citing an AZ Republic article as your proof that this city is done for is kinda weak. One can look at other data that would show we didn't lose population at all and how it will again grow once people in other places can sell their homes and then move here. Jobs will come back and people will move here again, too. If you think it can't and won't happen in a place like Phoenix, then you must believe the whole nation is doomed. Right now, things suck. At some point they will suck less. Then not suck. Sucking can be good :yes: but enough, now.

gymratmanaz Nov 23, 2009 10:17 PM

WOW- well said. Who knew there was a moral to any story so involved with "Sucking" ?

Vicelord John Nov 23, 2009 10:22 PM

depends on what type of sucking. I knew a girl in high school that a couple guys really learn a hard lesson from... that shit never goes away.

Different moral.

dtnphx Nov 24, 2009 11:08 PM

From COP Website

Phoenix's Civic Space Park Wins Prestigious National Design Award

Nov. 23, 2009

The city of Phoenix’s Civic Space Park has earned a coveted national award for Landscape/Urban Design. The park was the “Best of 2009” winner in the Engineering News-Record’s annual awards of notable design and construction from throughout the country.

Civic Space Park entered the national competition because it was named the regional winner in the Landscape/Urban Design category by Southwest Contractor magazine. Civic Space Park beat out 10 other regional winners in the Landscape/Urban Design category. The Engineer News Record ( is a major trade publication for the design and construction industries.

Civic Space Park, developed as a partnership between community members, the city of Phoenix and Arizona State University, utilizes sustainable design techniques to generate power, keep the area cool and capture rain water. Sustainable park features include:

Solar panels on the park’s shade structures will generate 75 kilowatts of power (enough to power 8-9 residential homes) to offset the park’s lighting and electrical needs.
Extensive shade; more than 70 percent of the park’s surface area will be shaded when its trees and vegetation reach maturity.
Hard surfaces made with pervious concrete and pavers that reduce heat reflection and allow rainfall to seep through. Water passing through the pervious concrete and pavers will enter an underground rainfall collection system that allows water not used by the park’s plants to seep naturally back into the ground.
Trees planted with a system that utilizes grates and specially engineered soils to protect roots, minimize compaction and allow ample room for root expansion.

The park also houses the A.E. England building, named for the business formerly housed there. The building houses Fair Trade Café in its storefront retail space on the basement level. The building also offers space for meetings, presentations, small banquets, art events, classes, offices and restrooms. Arizona State University and the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department will collaborate to manage and program the building.

HX_Guy Nov 25, 2009 12:21 AM

Students design projects for vacant Phoenix lots

Low-cost ideas, including the construction of planter boxes, to transform vacant lots in downtown Phoenix for temporary use until their development, will be presented at 11 a.m. Dec. 8 on the Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix campus.

The multimedia presentation of research models was developed by university students in an urban design practice class taught by Nan Ellin, an associate professor and director of the planning program in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She also is an affiliate faculty member with ASU's School of Sustainability.

"In 2000, the Phoenix metropolitan area contained 42.6 percent vacant land, significantly higher than most American cities," said Pei Zhai, a doctoral student in sustainability.

"To address this vexing challenge, the office of the mayor requested that ASU students develop a model for the temporary use of publicly-owned vacant lots," explained Ellin.

"In response, students developed the Desert TULIP - Temporary Urban Laboratory Infill Project - a low-cost strategy to transform vacant lots until their development," Ellin said.

The students were asked to focus specifically on lots south of Garfield between 3rd and 6th Streets, an area designated to become part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

Undergraduate and graduate students, of various backgrounds and majors, searched worldwide for city vacant lot strategies, Ellin said.

"In Phoenix, they spoke with citizens, community organizations, local businesses and city officials for input on the project. High-resolution 3-D models of Phoenix were employed to envision Desert TULIP projects; and a collaborative project constructing planter boxes was undertaken as a first step toward turning Phoenix's vacant lots into urban amenities," Ellin said.

The multimedia presentation with results from the class research, including the introduction of the demonstration planter box project, will be followed by a panel discussion that includes representatives from the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix Community Alliance, and Roosevelt Row. The presentation is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon in the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory, located on the 8th floor of the Security Building, southwest corner of Van Buren Street and Central Avenue.

For more information about Desert TULIP, contact Ellin at, 480-965-6160.

HooverDam Nov 25, 2009 3:14 AM

^Wow that sounds wonderful, just what we need. Lets hope something actually happens and its not just another good student design project that just sits there.

On another note, I went to the Radiate Phx meeting tonight and I think I was the only one from the forum there and boy howdy are you guys lucky you missed it. The host, this ignoramus named Taylor Hurst just ended up yelling and doing a (very shitty) monologue for about an hour and would shout down and swear at anyone trying to get a word in. I hope no one here has had the displeasure of meeting this guy, it was like watching a drunken frat boy Howard Stern wannabe try to emcee an event, it was just awful.

EDIT: VV Yah if you check out his post on that list I (I posted under my real name, Will Novak) corrected him about his claim that the Civic Space park 'has no shade'. He continues to argue with me about it, when he doesn't have a leg to stand on, its quite silly. The guy is really immature and intolerable.

NIXPHX77 Nov 25, 2009 4:13 AM

i thought about going to that but now am glad i did not. He had some list of 17 things Phx needs to do or something like that, and it seemed kind of odd and unproductive or unrealistic. but i was curious that he seemed interest in promoting the city. thanx for being the fall guy Hoover!

glynnjamin Nov 25, 2009 4:42 AM

Hoover - he called you out on Twitter. Pretty weak.

glynnjamin Nov 25, 2009 4:50 AM

on a somewhat related note - I don't really understand what the point of these groups are. UrbanAffair, Radiate, etc. I mean, they do what we do...but without focus. They have no power, they really have no numbers, and they have a disjointed voice. In other words, they get about as much accomplished as we do on here when we suggest that LRT run down Glendale or Northern (or Thomas) instead of the freeway. Sure, we all feel better for saying how it should have been done better but Simonetta isn't reading this going "dammit, they are right!" and storming off to the city counsel meeting...and he's not doing it after a Radiate mtg. I'm all for grass roots but this whole thing reminds me of college. A bunch of self-righteous hippies would get together and complain about something stupid like Nalgene making the plastic that houses animals used in lab testing. They would protest it and tell people to get rid of their bottles. As long as you didn't leave the campus, you felt like you were making a difference. Once you noticed the rest of the world didn't give a shit - the apathy set in.

HooverDam Nov 25, 2009 5:44 AM

I see where you're coming from. I guess I feel sometimes theyre generally useful because people from the city planning commissions are there and such. But really they're more useful as a means for private citizens to network, bounce ideas off each other, etc. For instance I overheard some guys today talking about a performance/venue space they want and discussing where and what type of building would be best, I mentioned a few for sale warehouses and such that I am aware of and they seemed appreciative, so I guess its good for that kinda thing.

About the Twitter thing, ah well, who cares? If you read his Tweets you can see the guy is an overgrown child. If you read what he posted on the DPJ site you can see he's ignorant, and if you saw the way he behaved tonight you know for sure the guys a tool. I mentioned what a wreck the guy was to a friend (who wasnt there tonight) and she said "Oh was it Tyler Hurst?" so the guy has a reputation that proceeds him.

Its also funny he's asking who I am considering Ive been to about twice as many of those Radiate meetings as he has, am a native, and have been active/supporting downtown shit since I got back from St Louis/college in 06. I guess when you don't wear a self promoting T-shirt with your Twitter account handle on it people don't know who you are. :/

EDIT: The whole night kinda made me want to have a Forum Meet sometime soon. It would be nice to spend a night with intelligent urban enthusiasts who can at least try to disagree without being disagreeable.

oliveurban Nov 25, 2009 7:01 AM

For pure curiosity, I'd love to know more details about tonight's Radiate meeting at Local Breeze. I haven't spoken to anyone who's been yet. I wanted to go, and almost did. Now I wish I would have, as Twitter sort of exploded with drama about it. And yes, mostly as a result of the infamous Mr. Hurst.

Are you on Twitter Hoover? Did you speak with him at the meeting? I'm just curious as to why he seems to hell-bent on knowing more about you.

HooverDam Nov 25, 2009 7:12 AM

Im not on Twitter no, because Im very very lazy. I also don't have a smart/good cell phone so I dont know of how much use it would be to me.

Basically I think I initially pissed him off by telling him on the DPJ thing that the Downtown Park does have shade, is well designed and will get more shade as the years go by and the trees grow. Im not sure why that angered him (he hates the ideas of trees growing perhaps?) but it did.

So then at the meeting they bring him up to Emcee and I figure he'll talk for like 5 minutes and then either open it to the floor or say "Ok first topic is 'connectivity' (or whatever) how is Downtown doing with that? Good? Bad? What specifically is bad about? How can we do better?" Or just say "Ok who has something theyd like to say they dislike about downtown?" or any sort of normal Emcee sort of behavior.

Instead he literally talked for an hour straight with very few interruptions. Anytime anyone offered an opinion or tried to get a word in he'd redirect what they said, raise his voice, cut them off, etc. He was also talking in a very obnoxious tone, a lot of swearing, he was very loud (not projecting more like yelling) and just hard to listen to. He talked a lot about shit like Twitter and then told people who run downtown businesses that if they want support they shouldn't be crappy and they should offer better products/art/music/whatever. Which is true, but that can be said in one sentence and doesn't need to be dwelled on for 15 minutes.

So anyway at one point he said something like "if there's problems with Downtown we need to open our mouths about it" and I muttered to the people around me "How can we open our mouths if you never shut yours?". Im not sure if he heard it, but I got a mix of chuckles and 'ooohs' from the people right near me.

Then later when I finally had enough (and about 30-40% of the people just left because it was obnoxious) I raised my hand and sternly said "excuse me", he called on me and I said, "I think a problem with downtown is when a bunch of people get together to have a discussion one person dominates the conversation for 90% of it and won't let anyone else speak. I think thats a problem." He was just sort of stunned and someone from the back shouted "ok now you have the floor" and I said "Ok Id like to talk about how we can improve shade downtown" and then it was back to the cluster F**** of his moderating, switching to another topic, etc.

A very nice fellow whos name I believe is Steve Weiss (he runs No Festival Required) kept interrupting the host to say "I thought the topic of the evening was 'whats the matter with downtown?"" and then Mr Hurst would quickly just turn the conversation back into him yelling about nothing and utter confusion.

oliveurban Nov 25, 2009 7:27 AM

Interesting, thanks. Yeah, Steve Weiss is a nice guy.

I've also been reading those comments on DPJ. I definitely wish I would have gone now, if only to have absorbed things first-hand.

I'm curious if silverbear went, too?

HooverDam Nov 25, 2009 8:16 AM

On another note...


Scenic ‘pedestrian beltway' to link 9 parks in the Valley
39 comments by Amy B Wang - Nov. 24, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Along the farthest corridors of the Valley, there is an ambitious construction project quietly under way. Within a decade, the project will become a circular pathway larger than Loops 101, 202 and 303 combined. It's about a third of the way done - and you may have never heard of it.

In 1997, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department developed a long-term blueprint that included dozens of lofty goals. Among the most ambitious: create a "pedestrian beltway" linking nine of its 10 parks in one large, 242-mile loop encircling the county. It would be called the Maricopa Trail.

Roughly three years in the making, about 80 miles have been completed. Officials are making a push to finish the remaining portions ahead of schedule, deeming the project "Priority 1," Director R.J. Cardin said.

"I think if we keep going, we could be done within the next five years," Cardin said. "It's very exciting."

The master plan for the Maricopa Trail took four years to hammer out. The project is a combination of newly acquired land right-of-ways and intergovernmental agreements with state and local agencies.

For example, a southern segment of the path stretches from the county's Estrella Mountain Regional Park near Avondale through the Phoenix-run South Mountain Park and into Tempe.

Engineers tried to keep inclines at a grade of less than 10 percent to make the path friendly to all hikers. The ground pitches subtly to one side, so rainwater - when it does fall - cleanses the trail of burr-like cholla balls and other natural debris.

"It's really a pretty low-maintenance structure - if it's planned right," said John Gunn, park supervisor at the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area near Cave Creek. A portion of the trail runs through this county park, and Gunn monitors the trail at least twice a day.

"Most of the human traffic is really not that much of an impact," he said. "So far, we're real happy with what we're seeing."

What Gunn sees are miles of spare desert, overshadowed by the bald rock face of nearby Elephant Mountain. On a recent morning, Gunn stood among saguaros that dwarfed him, drinking in the upland Sonoran views.

"Morning, evening, midday - it's always good out here, really," Gunn said. "It never ceases to amaze me how gorgeous this desert is."

The 3 1/2-mile trail that winds through Spur Cross was one of the earlier fragments of the Maricopa Trail to be completed.

Officials tackled the easiest parts of the trail first, which is why the finished portions are in patches, rather than a continuous half-ring.

Purchasing the rights to cross land has comprised the majority of the trail's $5 million price tag, according to Maricopa Trail manager Chris Coover.

Coover estimates the parks department has spent about $1.74 million on the trail. It budgeted $3.28 million toward the project for the next five years.

"Really, the only capital-development dollars we have right now are going towards the Maricopa Trail," Cardin said.

In fiscal 2009, the parks department suffered a decrease of about 60 percent decrease in general funds from the previous year. It is 90 percent self-funded through entrance fees. There is no separate charge to hike on the Maricopa Trail - only the cost of the entrance fee at one of the county's parks to access it.

"My future concern for this is making sure that we're setting aside enough money to maintain the trail," Cardin said.

Still, officials have tried to take advantage of the depressed economy by shifting their focus to trail and trailhead construction, such as gates and gravel parking lots.

"When construction's cheap, you get more bang for your buck," Coover said.

Officials have high hopes for the ring path: Cardin envisions mountain bikers or horseback riders taking multiday trips.

"People could get on at one spot and ride from park to park to park," he said.

He can picture ultramarathon enthusiasts running the entire course in one shot - or hikers biting off the trail one step at a time, camping overnight at one of the parks along the way.

"It'd be kind of like doing the Appalachian Trail," he said.

Thomas McGuire, a Cave Creek resident who frequents the trail, said the preservation and availability of such open spaces are the most underappreciated aspects of living here.

"One of the wonderful things about hiking in Arizona is you can see where you're going, you can see where you've been," McGuire said. "There's really a lot more scope to the views that you get along the trails than would be the case than if there were dense trees."

Although the completed segments of the trail are open to the public now, funneling all the money into building the trail has left little for promoting it. Officials hope eventually to install clearer signage along the 242 miles, as well as maps depicting where people are on the trail - and that it exists at all.

"It's so new," Cardin said, "I don't think we have any true sense of how many people are using it."
annoyingly AzCentrals image is too damned tiny:

nickkoto Nov 25, 2009 9:32 AM

Don't get me wrong, I like local trails and I'll take more, but there's absolutely no pedestrian utility to connecting those existing parks & trails. Just doing the National Trail (the green stretch shown through South Mountain) in one day is a pretty decent hike, even if you have a car waiting at the other end instead of making the round trip. Nobody's going to be hiking from Spur Cross to White Tanks.


He can picture ultramarathon enthusiasts running the entire course in one shot

The real benefit is obviously going to be for bicyclists.

mwadswor Nov 25, 2009 3:41 PM


Originally Posted by nickkoto (Post 4577099)
Don't get me wrong, I like local trails and I'll take more, but there's absolutely no pedestrian utility to connecting those existing parks & trails. Just doing the National Trail (the green stretch shown through South Mountain) in one day is a pretty decent hike, even if you have a car waiting at the other end instead of making the round trip. Nobody's going to be hiking from Spur Cross to White Tanks.


The real benefit is obviously going to be for bicyclists.

I agree that few if any will use the whole thing in one shot, but so what? We didn't build the 101 or 202 expecting anybody to ever use the entire length of the freeway. The utility is the number of different small, medium, or long hikes you can make on a trail that size. You could backpack from one park to the next.

I think it's cool as hell.

Leo the Dog Nov 25, 2009 4:56 PM

Detroit in the Desert

Originally Posted by PHX31 (Post 4565030)
That's not the truth at all. "Detroit in the Desert?" "Surrounded by miles of those subdivisions". A picture of a rotten pool that's obviously no where near Phoenix (unless Phoenix suddenly moved to the Florida Keys or Hawaii).

Compare Detroit's unemployment to Phoenix's unemployment. Compare anything you want. That post is nothing but someone that gets their jollies from sadomasochism.


Tough times in Michigan, but Arizona may have it worse
68 comments by Betty Beard - Nov. 25, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
You know Arizona's economy is in bad shape when it ranks worse than Michigan's.

Even after years of mind-numbing hits to its construction industry, it's a jolt to realize Arizona has lost a larger percentage of jobs in this recession than Michigan, even as that state's auto-based economy continued to melt down.

The states share the dubious distinction of having two of the nation's most recession-scarred economies.

Arizona reports the highest percentage, 9.9 percent, of job losses in the country since the recession began in December 2007, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Michigan (9 percent) ranks No. 3, behind Arizona and Nevada (9.1 percent). Over the longer term, the states' trajectories have been markedly different. Arizona was the nation's first- or second-fastest growing state for at least 25 years through 2006. Michigan's auto industry has been in decline for 30 years.

That Arizona can be ranked alongside a state that is iconic for job loss underscores the seriousness of the its challenges.

The data took several Michigan residents by surprise.

"I think we here in the Midwest think of the Sun Belt states as doing very well since it seems that a lot of people move westward and relocate to the West and Southwest," said Bernie DeGroat, a spokesman for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

"When I think of Arizona, I think, 'Oh, things are probably great in Arizona.' It has tourism, and I think of young, kind of vibrant people locating there for the abundance of jobs."

Profound similarity

Detroit is a Rust Belt, old-line manufacturing city known for blustery winters, strong unions, downsized factories and population losses.

Recession-era Phoenix is known for blazing summers, low wages, stunted residential and commercial growth and record foreclosures.

Although Arizona and Michigan economies are markedly different, they both have depended on, and been hurt by, a cyclical industry: auto manufacturing (Michigan) and growth and construction (Arizona).

Since the recession began, Michigan has lost 24 percent of its manufacturing jobs and Arizona has lost 36 percent of its construction jobs, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. John Hagen, economic-development director in Surprise who has related experience in Michigan and other Midwestern states, said both Arizona and Michigan need to diversify.

"In a funny way, both states face the same issue, which is economic restructuring," Hagen said.

Just as Michigan can't depend on the auto industry, Arizona can't count on population growth to boost its fortunes in the near future, Hagen said.

"I don't think we are going to have the rapid growth and speculation," he said. "The boom was built on cheap mortgage money and credit. There will be changes in the (financial) system."

Barry Broome, president and chief executive of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and a former Michigan economic-development official, said, "The states . . . had very reliable long-term economic models that wove them into a sense of comfort and insulated them from the kinds of economic changes that other states have had to manage over time."

Marked differences

Patrick Anderson, an economist in Michigan, said the state's economy is so much worse than Arizona's that he doesn't think they can be compared. He also was surprised to hear of Arizona's high percentage of job losses.

"Michigan is different from all the other states," he said. "It went into a recession in 2001 and never emerged."

Although Michigan's latest jobless rate is 15.1 percent and has been in the double digits for 11 months, he said there are some areas with Great Depression-level rates of 20 percent or more.

An economic forecast last week from the University of Michigan predicts the state will continue losing jobs for the next two years, which would add up to 11 straight years of job losses. Until a few years ago, Arizona was adding jobs and population.

Art Egeler, a Traverse City, Mich., resident who winters in Mesa, said, "The economy in Michigan is really bad. It just didn't happen this last year. . . . Of course, when you lose your industry, especially your auto industry in the southern parts of the state, that hurts the whole state because (auto) parts are made in other areas of the state. "I don't think it's so severe here."

'Science state'

But Michigan's economy has strengths.

It has a strong manufacturing base with scientists, researchers and engineers, a foundation that conceivably could be shifted into making something other than cars.

In fact, only about 3 percent of Michigan workers are directly involved in making vehicles, although many more are involved in auxiliary businesses such as making steel or paint, said Dana Johnson, chief economist with Comerica Bank in Dallas and a close follower of Michigan's economy.

Broome said, "Michigan is a great science state. Up until a few years ago, Michigan was second only to California in research in the U.S."

In contrast, Arizona's construction-driven economy can't be as easily shifted into something else. It primarily depends on population growth, which the Urban Land Institute Arizona estimates has been flat for two years.

Broome said Arizona is less unionized and regulated than Michigan and has a more favorable business environment, especially for entrepreneurial startups.

And Arizona has been gaining a lot more people.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that from 2000 to 2008, Michigan grew 0.6 percent and Arizona 27 percent.

Hagen said, "I think it makes it more difficult to turn your community around if people are leaving or if it (population growth) is basically flat."

In any case, both states have their work cut out.

Johnson, a former Michigan resident, said, "I think Phoenix and Arizona together will bounce back reasonably well over the next couple of years, while I think it's going to be more of a struggle for Michigan."

He said that Michigan has begun to diversify and that the benefits soon will become more obvious.

"There is definitely some good stuff happening there," Johnson said. "But it has been completely overshadowed in the past five or six years by the terribly difficult adjustments going on in the auto sector."

As for Arizona, Broome said, it can diversify with a lot of work. "It is one thing to say you are going to diversify," he said. "It's another thing to say you are going to create from 100,000 to 150,000 new jobs in an industry you don't currently have much of a presence in. That is hard to do."

In the long run, Johnson is hopeful for both. "I think people tend to underestimate the dynamism of the American economy and its ability to adjust."

PhxPavilion Nov 25, 2009 6:56 PM

What happened to common sense? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out you can't rely on construction to continue indefinitely. It was inevitable, same as the economic collapse.

CraftTeutonic Nov 25, 2009 7:03 PM

That article is just comparing the percentage change since the recession. Michigan's unemployment is still at 15.1% while Arizona's unemployment is at 9.3% as of October 2009. Even if Phoenix's unemployment was at the same level, the crime would have to go up significantly in order to truly compare it to Detroit imo. I'm not saying the economy here doesn't suck right now. I'm just saying its not as bad as Michigan or Detroit

PHX31 Nov 25, 2009 10:05 PM

To Leo The Dog:


Originally Posted by CraftTeutonic (Post 4577684)
That article is just comparing the percentage change since the recession. Michigan's unemployment is still at 15.1% while Arizona's unemployment is at 9.3% as of October 2009. Even if Phoenix's unemployment was at the same level, the crime would have to go up significantly in order to truly compare it to Detroit imo. I'm not saying the economy here doesn't suck right now. I'm just saying its not as bad as Michigan or Detroit

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