October Project for Livable Communities e-livability

October 2007
In the News

Get out of the house on Oct 28 for Public Lands Day at South Mountain

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management host the Phoenix Outdoor Recreation Festival Oct. 28, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the South Mountain Park / Preserve Activity Complex, 10919 S. Central Ave. The free event marks the city’s official celebration of National Public Lands Day. Visitors to the festival can use the day to enjoy the monthly Silent Sunday event, which reserves the park’s roadways for non-motorized use. Many of the festival’s displays and activities are geared toward children, making it a fun and educational family event. Attendees will have a chance to enjoy live animals up close; take a hike; scale an outdoor climbing wall; attend special demonstrations; learn about proper nutrition and healthy activities and much more. More than 50 outdoor recreation and public land agencies will be on hand. Visitors also can purchase food and beverages. Event information is available online at http://phoenix.gov/PARKS/porf07.html or by calling (602)495-5458, (602)262-6713 (TTY). Silent Sunday, held one day each month, is an opportunity for bicyclists, wheelchair users, tots in strollers and in-line skaters to have the main roadways in South Mountain to themselves. More information is available online at http://phoenix.gov/parks/hikesoth.html.

Big remodel planned for busy north central Phoenix corner

In the Oct. 10, 2007, issue of The Arizona Republic, reporter Dolores Tropiano writes of a major redevelopment at one of Phoenix’s busiest intersections. “Plans for a prominent corner in central Phoenix include an entire remodeling and the possibility of a bustling restaurant hub for residents in and near the area. The strip center on the southwestern corner of 16th Street and Bethany Home Road is nearly 80 percent vacant, but that is about to change. Red Mountain Retail Group recently purchased the property for more than $6 million. They have plans for a major face lift and are considering the idea of creating a vibrant corner of restaurants.” Complete article: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/1010biz-phx-bethany1010.html#.

New scorecard to reward Arizona's quality growth projects with priority funding

Arizona has accommodated its first 6.2 million residents quite well, but to absorb another 6 million by 2030 and keep the same quality of life it must rethink how to plan and "what kind of communities" people want, stressed Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano at a City Hall event in Casa Grande, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. She said her multi-agency "growth cabinet" is working on a scorecard, under which "we will give priority for new discretionary dollars to communities that have really engaged in a smart growth planning process." Complete article: http://www.smartgrowth.org/news/article.asp?art=6254&state=3.

National Vacant Properties Campaign holds first annual conference

"Vacant properties are really a big problem in older cities and we look upon them, often, as a major resource for revitalization," commented Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation President Arthur P. Ziegler Jr. about the first annual conference by Washington-based National Vacant Properties Campaign (NVPC) in his city. He and other redevelopment advocates are confident Pittsburgh can successfully follow the best reclamation practices nationwide, with Smart Growth America (SGA) Executive Director Don Chen hailing Mayor Luke Ravensthal's buyback of more than 11,000 tax liens as a great initial step. Complete article:


Suburbia celebration – America’s first suburb turns 60

Levittown, Long Island held a 60th birthday bash for itself on Sept. 30, complete with parades, to celebrate its creation from a potato field for GIs returning from World War II. It would go on to become America's iconic suburb. Read the Oct 02 2007, article from Yahoo News: http://www.planetizen.com/node/27417.

The Building’s green, but what about the commute?

This article from Environmental Building News looks at the energy required to get workers from home to work -- often a use of energy that far surpasses that of the workplace itself. Read the Oct 04 2007, article from Environmental Building News: http://www.planetizen.com/node/27462.

City begins search for new Points of Pride locations

“Phoenix once again is looking for Points of Pride, locations throughout the city that evoke pride in city residents,” writes Michael Clancy in the Sept. 20, 2007, Arizona Republic. “It's a nice idea, conceived at a time when the city was struggling with recession and, as former Mayor Paul Johnson says, people needed to be reminded of all the good things in Phoenix. Still, the passing years make some of the points look silly or even just plain wrong.” The city wants input from the community. Residents can submit new Points of Pride by Nov. 9. Nominations are on the city's Website, http://www.phoenix.gov/pride2008. The Phoenix Pride Commission will review the nominations and select 10 locations that will be voted on by the public early in 2008.

Complete article: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/0920phx-points0922inside.html

Best Practices

AARP Bulletin highlights Arizona’s program of taking steps toward health

This fall AARP Arizona is rolling out 10-week walking programs at three senior centers with large Spanish-speaking clienteles, according to the October 2007 issue of the AARP Bulletin. The programs, all in the Phoenix area, are part of an effort to involve the Hispanic community in AARP activities. Participants receive pedometers at the kickoff events and attend weekly check-ins, as well as milestone events to celebrate completion of the program. “Walking is a simple, practical and fun way to exercise,” says David Parra, AARP Arizona program coordinator. Call 602-262-5176 for more information. To enroll or to find out how to start a walking program – in Spanish or English – in your community. The AARP Bulletin can be read on the Web at: http://www.aarp.org/bulletin.

Tucson neighborhood transforming into a new urban environment

“Menlo Park neighborhood grew up around the base of ‘A’ Mountain, known by the Tohono O'odham as Chuk’son — the birthplace of Tucson,” write Mac Hudson and Matt Skroch in a guest opinion from the Sept. 20, 2007, Arizona Daily Star. “This birthplace is now undergoing a renaissance of redevelopment: the new-urbanist, mixed-use Mercado District; the UA Science Center/Arizona State Museum; the infrastructure of new streets connected to a new Santa Cruz River bridge; and the western terminus of a modern street car.”

“The next development in line in our historic neighborhood is 15 acres of vacant land west of the Santa Cruz River and south of Congress Street. After a year of meeting at kitchen tables, front porches and large meeting rooms, the Menlo Park Neighborhood Association has generated a consensus guiding vision for these 15 acres. Menlo Park envisions the creation of an urban environment Tucson has yet to embrace. We advocate for smart growth principles — compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly mixed-use development with a range of housing choices. We want to see sustainable growth and green building that improves our neighborhoods and lessens its impact on the earth.” Complete article: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/202085.


Unique community dialogue project seeking participants

LISC Phoenix and the ASU Stardust Center for Affordable Homes want to create community dialogue about how to build neighborhoods that enhance sustainability, community character, affordability and livability. Using a presentation tool/workshop format that can be adapted for use by different communities, this project will propose strategies and solutions to engage residents, business leaders, and civic leaders. To participate in the civic engagement outreach campaign, call Sherry Ahrentzen at ASU at 602-496-1466.

Web glossary demystifies active living “language”

For those who want to walk the walk and talk the talk when using active living terminology, look no further than the handy glossary on the Active Living Website. There you will learn the meaning of arterial, mixed use and shy distance, as well as what CSD, ISTEA and TOD stand for. Go to: http://www.activelivingbydesign.org/index.php?id=10

Walkability experts give their picks for most walkable cities

America Walks is regularly asked to recommend highly walkable communities, to visit or to move to. America Walks Web editors asked two respected Walkability experts, Mark Fenton (host of the PBS series “America’s Walking) and of America Walks) and Dan Burden of Walkable Communities, Inc. (www.walkable.org). Dan is a leading expert and consultant in the creation of walkable settings. We suggest you look over their lists, and take particular note of communities you see on both—it’s a good bet they are places worth considering as very walkable. For more information on Fenton’s PBS series and Burden’s Walkable Communities: http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/ and http://www.walkable.org.

Edited by:M.H. Brennan
Taken from PLC's e-livability


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