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					A PUBLICATION OF THE ARIZONA CHAPTER, AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION   AUGUST 2010




                                                                      ISSN 2153-5809




APA Arizona
Conference
Where You Want To Be November 3-5, 2010!
VISION                                                                                                                                                                                          August 2010



IN THIS ISSUE
                                                                                                                                     OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
Welcome To Downtown Phoenix ........................................... 2
                                                                                                     President
Two Governments Work Together .......................................... 4                           Alan Stephenson, City of Phoenix .......................................(602) 262-4870

Downtown Phoenix — An Overview ................................... 7                                 President Elect
                                                                                                     Jon Froke, AICP, City of Glendale ..........................................(623) 930-2585
     Opening Reception ................................................................10            VP for Professional Development
     Entertrainment...........................................................................12     Mark Eckhoff, AICP, Town of Florence................................(520) 868-7540
                                                                                                     VP for Legislative Affairs
     Metro Lightrail Station Public Art ...................................13                        Rob Lane, Gammage & Burnham ........................................(602) 256-4439
     ASU Downtown Campus ....................................................17                      VP for Conference – (2010)
                                                                                                     Dean Brennan, FAICP
     Phoenix Biomedical Campus ............................................19                        Project for Livable Communities..........................................(480) 390-9185
     Keynote Speakers .....................................................................21        VP for Conference – (2011)
                                                                                                     David A. Williams, AICP, Town of Oro Valley ...................(520) 229-4807
Planning News ..................................................................................24
                                                                                                     Secretary
    City Parks Bringing Urban Centers Back ......................24
                                                                                                     Leslie Dornfeld, AICP, Plan-ET ................................................(602) 663-2002
    Greening, and Feeding, .........................................................26               Treasurer
     Mid-Sized Cities Revitalizing Downtowns .................28                                     Kevin Duncan, AICP, EPG ...........................................................(602) 956-4370
                                                                                                                                                                                        x259
    Can The US DOT Combat Obesity?.................................30                                Past President
                                                                                                     Jill Kusy, AICP, DMB Associates, Inc......................................(480) 367-7322
    The Future of Cities and Transportation ......................32
                                                                                                     South Section Director
    Public Transit Systems Contribute to Health ............34                                       Greg Hitt, Pima County ..............................................................(520) 740-6500

    Can The Suburban Fringe Be Downtown Adjacent? ...35                                              North Central Section Director
                                                                                                     Jennifer Corey, Gammage & Burnham .............................(602) 256-4402
    A Strategy Session For Los Angeles................................36                             Citizen Planner
     Urban Farming for Cash Gains A Toehold                                                          Bob Hall, Winslow Chamber of Commerce ...................(928) 289-2434
     In San Francisco .........................................................................39    Directors at Large
                                                                                                     Erika Mazza, City of Flagstaff ...................................................(928) 779-7632
     Urban Poor Most Vulnerable..............................................41                      Stuart Boggs, AICP, RPTA ...........................................................(602) 534-5474
                                                                                                     Robert Pikora, Terraforma Design Group ........................(602) 628-5328
     Nasa Assets Provide Orbital View ....................................42
                                                                                                     Ambika P. Adhikari, Dr. Des., AICP
                                                                                                     Salt River Indian Community .................................................(480) 362-7652
                                                                                                     University Liaisons
                                                                                                     Alan A. Lew, Ph.D., NAU..............................................................(928) 523-6567
                                                                                                     Laura Huntoon, PhD, AICP, UofA ..........................................(520) 626-1151
                                                                                                     Newsletter Editor
                                                                                                     Dean Brennan, FAICP
                                                                                                     Project for Livable Communities..........................................(480) 390-9185
                                                                                                     Student Representatives
                                                                                                     Fred Hartshorn, UofA
                                                                                                     Elena Pacheco, ASU
                                                                                                     Ruth Hennings, NAU
Cover Image: This month’s cover is a montage of                                                      Heidi Holloway, NAU
images of what you’ll see at the APA AZ 2010 Planning                                                Executive Director
Conference. Read about many of these facilities in this                                              Patti King .............................................................................................(602) 866-7188
issue of VISION Magazine.”
1
    VISION                                                                                                                                                                                                                   August 2010




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                                                                                   Register Now!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1
     2
VISION   August 2010




3
VISION                                                                                                                          August 2010



                         TWO GOVERNMENTS WORK TOGETHER FOR
                              SUSTAINABLE WATER FUTURE
                                              By Nicole Ewing Gavin, AICP & Arlan Colton, FAICP
Editor’s Note: One of the Sustainability Sessions at the Annual          The Study was historic in that it ended three decades of less than
Conference will focus on the City of Tucson/Pima County joint            cooperative relations between the City of Tucson (operating the
planning process that identified a holistic approach for balancing       Water Department) and Pima County (operating the regional
future growth with sustainable management of water resources.            wastewater system), setting the stage for a more productive
The following article is an overview of that process written by two      relationship going forward. Additionally, the land planning,
of the key participants in the process who will be participating the     utility and resource agencies developed positive relationships
Conference session.                                                      between them, both within and across jurisdictional boundaries.

The City of Tucson and Pima County recently completed Phase 2 of         The Study’s final Phase 2 Report calls for a paradigm shift away
the City/County Water and Wastewater Study. It is a monumental           from the past practice of, “Let the people come, we guarantee
and historic effort to define and develop a sustainable water future     to provide enough water” toward a more balanced and holistic
for a significant portion of the Tucson region.                          approach that seeks to connect land use and environmental
                                                                         goals with water planning.
The Study culminated last February with the Tucson City Council
and the Pima County Board of Supervisors approving a joint               Below is an excerpt from the Citizen Oversight Committee’s
resolution (along with 19 goals and 56 recommendations)                  introduction to the final report that summarizes this paradigm shift:
that provides a roadmap for how both governments can
work together toward a sustainable water future. Work is now                  “In the past, land use planning and water resource
ongoing on a five-year strategic implementation plan, which is                planning have been unconnected, both institutionally
due this fall.                                                                and conceptually. Local land use planers assumed – and
                                                                              water resource managers guaranteed – that there would
                                                                              be water available to satisfy continued growth. But during
                                                                              the last century, we overwhelmed the capacity of the
                                                                              Santa Cruz River as a water source; we over-drafted the
                                                                              aquifer; perennial surface flows in the Santa Cruz River near
                                                                              Tucson ended; and our region currently depends heavily on
                                                                              imported water from the Colorado River.

                                                                              “We know now we are poised to go in another direction.
                                                                              Defining a sustainable water future for this community
                                                                              will require large scale changes and paradigm shifts in
                                                                              how we approach water management on a municipal
                                                                              and regional scale. It will require new financial models
                                                                              for operating water utilities, political will to recommend
                                                                              full-cost pricing of water, and considerable education
                                                                              and outreach to the community. It will also require
                                                                              unprecedented regional cooperation in management of
                                                                              water supplies.

                                                                              ‘In the near term our water supply portfolio is in reasonably
                                                                              good shape, but we want to start now to think creatively
                                                                              and realistically about a sustainable water future, for
                                                                              ourselves and for the future. Diversifying and augmenting
                                                                              water supplies is necessary for the current population,
The Study was monumental in that it brought together the                      and will also help to serve those who will move here in the
two largest jurisdictions in the region (including their water                future. We need to build a sustainable water future on
and wastewater utilities, land use planners, and other public                 three principal pillars:
infrastructure departments), a citizen oversight committee,
outside experts, and the general public in a two year technical,              •	   Aggressive demand management
educational, values, and goal setting process.
                                                                              •	   New water supplies
4
VISION                                                                                                                           August 2010



    •	   Guiding the coming growth increment in terms of                   water for growth, and the cost of growth, and notes that without
         urban form/density and location                                   doing so, the region cannot achieve a sustainable water future.
    •	   ‘The new paradigm for water resource planning and
         management:                                                       The Study demonstrated that how and where we grow are more
                                                                           important policy considerations that attempting to influence
    •	   Recognizes scarcity and uncertainty
                                                                           how much we grow. One of the technical papers prepared
    •	   Puts the environment at the table where water is                  for the Study used benchmark data from other regions to
         distributed                                                       analyze the pros and cons of various urban form patterns from a
    •	   Balances water supply and demand management                       sustainability perspective. The paper also modeled four different
    •	   Builds upon the crucial link between urban form and               urban form scenarios (status quo, infrastructure efficient, habitat
         water resources                                                   protection, and transit-oriented) to reflect different future land
                                                                           use patterns. The paper demonstrated that shaping the form
    •	   Elevates public dialogue to a central position in future”
                                                                           and location of growth can have a variety of benefits for the
One of the most exciting outcomes of the Study (from an urban              community including:
planning perspective, of course) was this recognition that
water resource planning and land use planning are inextricably                  •	   Lower water consumption
linked, and that both must do a better job of integrating these
                                                                                •	   Improved public services and infrastructure at lower
disciplines in order to achieve a sustainable future. While the
                                                                                     cost to taxpayers
Growing Smarter Acts imply this linkage, neither the City nor
County did a stellar job in making that connection in their 2001                •	   Reduced car passenger miles
general and comprehensive plans, respectively. The County                       •	   Fewer miles of road per capita
Plan’s recently updated Water Resources element is a significant                •	   Lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas
improvement over the original effort, but the new study further                      emissions
raises the bar.
                                                                                •	   Public health benefits
The Phase 2 Report outlines specific steps the City and County                  •	   More walkable neighborhoods and urban spaces
need to take in the area of “Comprehensive, Integrated Planning” to             •	   More transit opportunities
move toward sustainability. The recommendations in this section                 •	   More types of housing choices
suggest the City and County need to be more directive about
growth, addressing the form of growth, the location of growth,




                              Stormwater and reclaimed water are used in the Kino Environmental Restoration Project

5
VISION                                                                                                                        August 2010



As the two governments now go about developing the action
plan to implement the Study, one of the biggest challenges they
face is the current economic climate and its impact on local
government budgets. Other than seeking federal funds for some
of the action items, both must consider how to move forward
within existing resources. While this is challenging, it also has
a positive side in that this “paradigm shift” must be integrated
into the current work programs. While this approach will mean
slower implementation, perhaps it will lead to more systemic
change that will be sustainable over the long run.

The next phases of this work, which would expand the work to
the remainder of Eastern Pima County beyond the City of Tucson
obligated service area and the larger Pima County Wastewater
treatment area, is under early discussion at Pima Association of
Governments and others.

For more information on the City/County Water andWastewater
Study including documentation of the public process, the
technical reports, and the final Phase I and Phase II Reports, visit
the Study website: www.tucsonpimawaterstudy.com
                                                                       Elements of Water Resource Planning in the New Paradigm

                                                                       Nicole Gavin is Assistant to the City Manager, City of Tucson.
                                                                       Arlan Colton is Planning Director, Pima County.




6
    D o w nt o w n Ph oen ix                                                           —
    An Ov er v ie w

D     owntown Phoenix is where history meets the future, showcasing Phoenix’s historic town site, its recent revitaliza-
      tion, and continued resurgence into the future. The Downtown Phoenix Partnership represents the 90-block
core of Downtown Phoenix. Its boundaries extend from Fillmore to south of Jackson Street, 7th Street to 3rd Avenue.
Between 2006 and the end of 2010 the broader 1.5 square mile redevelopment area will receive more than $4
billion in investment in areas including transportation, office, residential, education and research, arts, culture,
sports, and hospitality.



Retail
                                               C    urrently, downtown
                                                    has 600,000 SF of
                                               retail space with an ad-
                                               ditional 300,000 SF under
                                               construction which will be
                                               completed in 2010. The
                                               retail market of Down-
                                               town Phoenix contains a
                                               diverse mix of local bou-
                                               tiques and restaurants.
                                               The restaurants are of-
                                               ten housed in converted
                                               warehouse buildings or
                                               restored historic homes
                                               as well as larger buildings                              Civic Space Sculpture
                                               allowing a dining experi-


                                                                                    aRts,
                                               ence unique to Down-
                                               town Phoenix.



                                                                Central Park East   cultuRe
    Cityscape View
                                                                                    and
Office                                                                              spORts
                                                                                    D    owntown Phoenix is the enter-
                                                                                         tainment destination for mil-
D    owntown Phoenix is the fi-
     nancial center of Arizona
and home to the five largest
                                                                                    lions of visitors every year. The Ari-
                                                                                    zona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns
                                                                                    call downtown home along with
banks in the state. In 2010 two                                                     the Phoenix Mercury and in March
new office towers will be com-                                                      2010, the Arizona Rattlers return to
plete; Freeport McMoRan will                                                        U.S. Airways Center. Venues like the
occupy the top half of the Park                                                     Orpheum Theater, the Dodge The-
Central East tower at Central &                                                     ater, the Herberger Theater and
Van Buren and CityScape has                                                         Symphony Hall host a variety of cul-
reached leasing agreements                                                          tural events throughout the year.
with a number of law firms in-                                                      Renowned museums like the Heard
cluding Squires, Sanders &                                                          Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and
Dempsey and Gust Rosenfeld.                                                         the Arizona Science Center are also
Despite softer market condi-                                                        located in downtown. First Friday, an
tions, demand for downtown                                                          arts and culture celebration, draws
office space continues to be                                                        thousands of visitors every month.
high as employers look to take
advantage of the light-rail system and downtown amenity packages.
7
    D o w nt o w n Ph oen ix                                                          —
    An Ov er v ie w

educatiOn and                                                            UA College of Medicine




ReseaRch
D   owntown Phoenix is undergoing major changes in the fields
    of education and medical research. Arizona State University
opened their Downtown Campus consisting of the College of Nurs-
ing and Healthcare Innovation, the University College, the College
of Public Programs, School of Criminology and the Walter Cronkite
School of Journalism.

Currently 7,000 students attend school at the Downtown Campus.
Taylor Place Student Housing opened Phase 2 in August 2009 bringing
a total of 1,200 beds and the Civic Space, a 2.7 acre urban park,
was completed in the spring of 2009. The 28 acre Phoenix Biomedical
Campus Plan was approved by the City Council and upon completion
will consist of over 6 million SF of space devoted to biomedical
research facilities and the University of Arizona College of Medicine
in Phoenix in partnership with ASU.
                                                School of Nursing
The College of Medicine opened a Phoe-
nix Campus in three historic buildings on the
biomedical campus site in 2007 and will ex-
pand yearly through 2015 to 600 students.
The Arizona Biomedical Collaborative 1
(ABC1) and nationally recognized Interna-
tional Genomics Consortium and Transla-
tional Genomics Research Institute (IGC/
TGEN) are also located on the site. Future
plans include a medical education build-
ing and wet lab space.




    Sheraton Hotel




                                                              hOspitality
                                                              O    ne of downtown’s signature redevelopment proj-
                                                                   ects is the $600 million expansion of the Phoenix
                                                              Convention Center which was completed in January
                                                              2009. The 880,000 SF Phoenix Convention Center ranks
                                                              among the top convention centers in the country.
                                                              To accommodate the increase in convention visitors
                                                              a new 1,000-room Sheraton Hotel was completed in
                                                              October 2008. In December 2009 the City Council ap-
                                                              proved plans for a 278 room Westin Hotel in the Freeport
                                                              McMoRan Tower and the rebranding and renovation
                                                              of the Wyndham, which will become a Renaissance by
                                                              Marriott.
8
    D o w nt o w n Ph oen ix                                                      —
    An Ov er v ie w


               Residential
                                                                   44 Monroe




         Residential development has come downtown giving
       Phoenicians an opportunity to experience the only true
               urban setting in the state. Recent developments
    include the Orpheum Lofts, The Summit at Copper Square,
              and 44 Monroe, all luxury high rise condominium
    projects. Alta Phoenix Lofts opened at 3rd Street & Fillmore
           in 2009. The downtown housing markets features a
               mix of high-rise luxury, mid-rise, townhomes and
                           historic single family neighborhoods.




                                                                               distRict
                                           The Summit At Copper Summit
                                                                               cOOling
                                                                               Northwind Phoenix (a venture between
                                                                               Pinnacle West Capital and Unicom


tRanspORtatiOn,
                                                                               Corp.) has installed a centralized cooling
                                                                               network that originates at chillers located
                                                                               at several places downtown. The cooling


access & paRking
                                                                               loop transfers chilled water to buildings
                                                                               that subscribe to the service, resulting in
                                                                               increased cooling efficiencies and lower
                                                                               front end costs to developers.
D   owntown Phoenix is the hub of the rapidly growing regional transit sys-
    tem that includes local bus and rapid transit service. Over 26 routes
serve downtown, more than any other destination in Greater Phoenix. MET-
RO Light Rail Service began in December 2008 and exceeded all ridership
projections.
9
 Ope ni ng Re cept i on
 By Wathsna Sayasane




                                                              Wednesday,
                                                              n O v e M b e R 3, 5:30pM

nina MasOn
pulliuM
RiO saladO
audubOn
centeR
This year’s Opening Re-        of “Looking Forward”.
ception will be hosted in
the Nina Mason Pulliam         Nina Mason Pulliam (1906
Rio Salado Audubon Cen-        to 1997) besides being a
ter, the first LEED Platinum   successful business leader
certified building in Phoe-    and well-known publisher
nix. The Audubon Center        was a lover of all crea-
is a free-admission na-        tures. She left her signifi-
ture education center          cant assets into a trust to
just south of downtown         support worthy causes
Phoenix, in the Río Salado     in her home states of Ari-
Habitat Restoration Area.      zona and Indiana. Two
Opened in fall of 2009,        of the causes that were
the center is operated by      closest to her heart were
Audubon Arizona, a non-        improving children’s lives
profit nature conservation     and protecting Arizona’s
organization. The site was     natural habitats. The Nina
specifically chosen to help    Mason Pulliam Rio Salado
promote and illustrate this    Audubon Center’s mission
year’s conference theme        is to connect inner-city

10
 Ope ni ng Re cept i on
 By Wathsna Sayasane




children and their fami-                                                                 pretive loop trail, sixteen
lies with nature through                                                                 miles of hiking and riding
hands-on outdoor experi-                                                                 trails, bird walking oppor-
ences.
                                                                                         tunities, and the Audu-
Designed by architect                                                                    bon staff hosts a variety of
Philip Weddle, of Weddle                                                                 classes every month.
Gilmore Architects, and
built by Okland Con-                                                                     The Nina Mason Pulliam
struction, the Audubon                                                                   Rio Salado Audubon Cen-
Center‘s green features                                                                  ter’s many sustainable
include a rooftop photo-                                                                 features and the Arizona
voltaic array, innovative
                                                                                         National Audubon Soci-
use of passive solar en-
ergy for interior lighting,                                                              ety’s commitment to en-
a wastewater reclama-                                                                    vironmental stewardship
tion system and water                                                                    demonstrate the prog-
conserving fixtures. Over                                                                ress that can be made in
20% of the materials used                                                                shaping our communities
in the Audubon Center’s
                                                                                         into a more livable envi-
construction were from
recycled products and                                                                    ronment for future gener-
approximately 90% of                                                                     ations. The challenges of
construction waste gener-     will provide a spectacu-    tracted by the Rio Salado      today’s current conditions
ated in the construction      lar backdrop of the Rio     habitat, the importance of     should not deter us from
process was processed for                                                                looking forward to a bet-
                              Salado Habitat Restora-     water conservation, and
recycling. The Audubon                                                                   ter tomorrow.
                              tion Project as reception   the historical and eco-
Center is the third LEED
Platinum rated building       guests mingle and dine      logical significance of the
                              at sunset. The Audubon      Salt River. The center sits    Special thanks to Sarah
in the Valley and fifth in
Arizona.                      Center was constructed      on approximately 4 acres       Porter, Executive Director
                              to help educate visitors    and offers multitude of ac-    of Audubon Arizona.
The $4.5 million and 8,000    about the over 200 bird     tivities such as interactive
square-foot nature center     species and wildlife at-    nature exhibits, an inter-




11
 E n t e rtr ainmen t
 By Ray Brown and Wathsna Sayasane




L       i g h t                 R    a i l
                                         Restaurants/Bars
C    onference goers will
     have much to explore
with the addition of several
                                           Postinos on Central
                                            Hula’s Modern Tiki
                                                            Fez
new restaurants and bars                 Seamus McCaffrey’s
                                       Irish Pub & Restaurant
along the light rail route.            Phoenix Public Market                                         George & Dragon (left)
                                                                                                     and
The revitalization efforts of               George & Dragon                                          Phoenix Convention
downtown Phoenix have                    The Rose and Crown                                          Center
                                                      Lost Leaf                                      (above), courtesy of
rejuvenated the urban                                                                                Metro.
heart of the metro area                          The Roosevelt
with projects such as the             Hula’s Modern Tiki
Sheraton Hotel, expansion
of the Phoenix Convention
Center, construction of the
ASU downtown campus
and the highly anticipated
CityScape project. These
new ventures in combina-
tion with the continuing
success of many central
Phoenix residents’ beloved                                                      Civic Space and Fair Trade Cafe patio
local businesses will offer a                              Postino on Central
multitude of entertainment
for this year’s conference.

The conference commit-
tee has created an en-
tertainment brochure in
addition to directions for
a self-guided light rail pub
crawl. Committee mem-
bers will also be contact-
ing restaurants and retail-
                                C     i t y S c a p e
                                                                                Retailers
ers to provide conference           CityScape, courtesy of the Downtown         Urban Outfitters
                                                     Phoenix Partnership
attendees with discounts                                                        So-Oh Fashion
to giveaway during the                                                          Designer District Boutique
Thursday night Planners’                                                        Republic of Couture
                                                                                CVS Drugstore
Bazaar. Be sure to stay in                                                      Oakville Grocery
Phoenix after the confer-                                                       Par Exsalonce
ence to enjoy the First                                                         Gold’s Gym
Friday events and the
special grand opening
of CityScape. You don’t
want to miss out on one
of downtown’s most mo-
mentous urban planning
transformations. There is           Restaurants/Entertainment
so much to discover, new                     5 Guys Burger and Fries
and old, and we can’t                            Vitamin T Taqueria
                                                   Oakville Grocery
wait to see you down-                                    Noodle Bar
town.                                      Rasputin Vodka/Wine Bar
                                                  LGO Public House
                                              Craft House Brew Pub
                                                       Huey’s Diner
                                             Stand Up Live Comedy
                                                  Lucky Strike Lanes

12
 M e t r o Light R ai l
 St a t io n P ublic A rt
By Ben Limmer




Public art has a rich tradi-     enhancements.                   for    27  neighborhood-      including aesthetic excel-
tion in the Phoenix Metro-                                       based Station Art Review      lence, integration of art-
politan area. METRO, the         Each of METRO’s 28 light        Committees. The Station       work into the urban/desert
agency responsible for           rail stations and the Tempe     Art Review Committees         context of the surrounding
construction and opera-          Town Lake Bridge features       interviewed and selected      neighborhood, and sup-
tion of the light rail system,   artwork. Six design team        individual artists, and ul-   port for safety and comfort
used a combination of            artists worked closely with     timately, reviewed and        of light rail passengers. The
municipal       percent-for-     light rail architects and en-   approved the artists’ con-    artists were also directed
arts funding and match-          gineers from the inception      cepts.                        to bring to their work their
ing federal funds, to make       of the project to both ad-                                    own sense of educational,
a significant contribution       vance design and create         Each review phase was         inspirational and environ-
to this tradition by inte-       meaningful, human-scale         presented at public meet-     mental appreciation.
grating aesthetic and cul-       urban spaces respectful         ings, making the METRO
tural elements throughout        of the surrounding envi-        art program one of the        The local artists and arts
the $1.4 billion METRO light     ronment (above).                largest public art out-       professionals involved in
rail project. The METRO                                          reach and citizen involve-    the critique process en-
art program constitutes          A citizen-based Regional        ment programs in Arizona      couraged the METRO
a $262 million invest-           Rail Art Committee pro-         history. Artists were given   artists to provide unique,
ment in environmental art        vided overall guidance          several guiding principles,   meaningful artwork cog-
13
  M e t r o Light R ai l
  St a t io n P ublic A rt
nizant of both its role in
the desert environment as                                    Figure 2
well as its role in the light
rail project. METRO art-
work provides shade, uti-
lizes our abundant sunlight
to create drama, and
educates passengers on
the cultural, historical and
environmental        context
around them.

The light rail station art-
work not only enhances
the experience of the
passenger, but affects
pedestrians and motor-
ists who pass nearby: the
cast bronze hands at the               Figure 3
Dorsey/Apache light rail
station have become a
neighborhood focal point
(Figure 2), and at the Cen-
tral/Camelback station,
the granite ring has be-
come an area landmark
(Figure 3).

Other works are an exten-
sion of the institutions and
neighborhoods in which
the stations is sited: at
the Encanto Station near
the Heard Museum, the
sculptural work mixes pre-
Columbian with native
and modern cultural refer-
ences (Figure 4), and the
McDowell station features
cast bronze books and art
objects that appear to
have been lifted from the
Burton Bar Public Library
or Phoenix Art Museum
(Figure 5). The 12th Street
station features hand
painted,       photographic
                                                  Figure 4
tiles that tell stories of the
neighborhood (Figure 6).

METRO light rail has be-
come an important com-
ponent the Valley’s trans-
portation     infrastructure,
and has already proven
itself a valuable factor in
urban revitalization and
transit-oriented develop-
ment, all critical to envi-
                                 Figure 5

14
 M e t r o Light R ai l
 St a t io n P ublic A rt
                                                        ronmental sustainability.
                                                        Many of METRO’s light rail
                                                        stations reflect these ide-
                                                        als of conservation and
                                                        education about our re-
                                                        sources and our desert
                                                        environment; all of the
                                                        station artworks strive to
                                                        delight the senses and
                                                        contribute to a visually ex-
                                                        citing urban environment
                                                        (Figures 7 and 8).

                                                        The Central/Camelback
                                                        station artwork includes a
                Figure 6                                recycled water feature in
                                                        which an irrigation hose
                       Figure 9                         has been configured to
                                                        run water through a gran-
                                                        ite canal before emptying
                                                        out onto the shade tree
                                                        (Figure 9). The effect is only
                                                        visible during the station’s
                                                        normal irrigation sched-
                                                        ule, neatly referencing the
                                                        importance of canals and
                                                        irrigation in the desert.

                                                        At the Priest/Washington
                                                        station, the artist responds
                                                        to the nearby Salt River
                                                        Project and Valley water-
                                                        ways by incorporating a
                                                        metaphorical canal and
                                             Figure 7   shade structure at the sta-
                                                        tion entry; red granite ca-
                                                        nal walls, polished smooth
                                                        as if by water, support a
                                                        canopy of steel wavelets
                                                        (Figure 10). Pennies sus-
                                                        pended overhead and
                                                        embedded in the canal
                                                        walls comment not only
                                                        on the importance of wa-
     Figure 8                                           ter in the desert but on
                                                        the commerce that flows
                                                        through the Valley be-
                                                        cause of its presence.

                                                        Inspired by the Lathe
                                                        House Pavilion at Heritage
                                                        Square, the artist for the
                                                        Central/Roosevelt station
                                                        created a large shade
                                                        structure for the center
                                                        of the plaza (Figure 11).
                                                        When the lower of two
                                                        perforated shade discs
                                  Figure 9              moves in the wind, a moi-
                                                        ré pattern of dappled sun-
15
  M e t r o Light R ai l
  St a t io n P ublic A rt
light is created below.

METRO’s public art program has
demonstrated a commitment to
the ideals of a sustainable, urban
transit environment and to the role
of the arts in creating livable spaces
(Figure 12).

Note: Ben Limmer os a Planner with
Valley Metro Rail. The above infor-
mation and images were provided
by Valley Metro Rail.


                                                           Figure 10




                                               Figure 11




                                    Figure12


16
  AS U D o wntown
  C a m p us

A    rizona State University
     (ASU) is partnering with
the city of Phoenix to de-
                                                       Taylor Place Student Residence Hall

velop the ASU Downtown
Phoenix campus, thanks
to a $223 million commit-
ment from Phoenix voters
in the 2006 bond election.
At build-out, the campus
will be home to 15,000 stu-
dents, 4,000 student beds
and thousands more fac-
ulty and staff.

The first phase of the cam-
pus opened in the fall of
2006 with approximately
6,300 students enrolled,
250 interim student beds
and about 2,800 students
taking classes downtown.
Phase II was partly com-
pleted in fall 2008 with
the opening of the Taylor
Place student residence
hall, nearly $5 million in
streetscape        improve-     Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
ments along Taylor and
First streets, and the new
$71 million home of the
Cronkite School of Jour-
nalism and KAET Channel
Eight. There are now ap-
proximately 8,500 students
enrolled      in  programs
funded by the Downtown
Phoenix campus and
about 5,000 students tak-
ing classes downtown, as
well as 445 students living
on campus.

Change continues at the
ASU Downtown Phoenix
campus. The Civic Space
public park and student
quad opened April 2009,
featuring the much an-
ticipated Her Secret is
Patience public art proj-
ect by internationally ac-
claimed artist Janet Echel-
man. The Civic Space also
features the renovated
and historic AE England
Motor Company building
with classrooms, retail and
assembly rooms which will
open by Fall 2009.                                                                Civic Space

17
 A S U D owntow n
 C a m p us
                                                                     The second Nursing &
                                                                     Health Innovation build-
                                                                     ing, as well as the second
                                            ASU College of Nursing   tower of Taylor Place,
                                                                     opened in August 2009.
                                                                     Finally, the historic down-
                                                                     town post office will be
                                                                     transformed into a student
                                                                     union for the campus,
                                                                     while retaining USPS retail
                                                                     functions for the commu-
                                                                     nity.

                                                                     This city of Phoenix and
                                                                     ASU partnership has cre-
                                                                     ated jobs, new public
                                                                     revenues, attracted sig-
                                                                     nificant private invest-
                                                                     ment and brought great
                                                                     educational opportunities
                                                                     to the central city. These
                                                                     efforts and accomplish-
                                                                     ments have been rec-
                                                                     ognized nationally, such
     ASU Downtown Administration Building                            as through the 2008 C.
                                                                     Peter Magrath University
                                                                     Community Engagement
                                                                     Award.




18
  Ph o eni x
  B i o m edical               Camp u s

T  he city of Phoenix is
   committed to further-
ing the well being of our
citizens through biomedi-
cal research and direct
patient care. The city-
owned Phoenix Biomedi-
cal Campus (PBC) is a
28-acre urban medical
and bioscience campus
planned for more than six
million square feet of bio-
medical-related research,
academic and clinical fa-
cilities.

The PBC is the premier
and dynamic location for
research activities. It will
contain the highest con-
centration of research sci-
entists and complemen-
tary research professionals
in the region providing
firms with unprecedented
opportunities for growth
and collaborative efforts
with the Translational Ge-
nomics Research Institute
(TGen), International Ge-
nomics Consortium (IGC),
National Institute of Dia-
betes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
University of Arizona Col-
lege of Medicine - Phoe-
nix, Arizona Biomedical
Collaborative and Phoe-




                                   nix Union Biosci-   for firms to recruit the most
                                   ence High School    talented doctors and re-
                                   - all of which      searchers. Present tenants
                                   have been at-       include:
                                   tracted to down-
                                   town in the past    The Translational Genom-
                                   few years.          ics   Research    Institute
                                                       (TGen) and the Interna-
                                   The PBC will pro-   tional Genomics Consor-
                                   vide an excep-      tium (IGC) headquarters
                                   tional  location    opened in December

19
 P h o eni x
 B i o m edical                                       Camp u s
                                                                                               tunities that accelerate
                                                                                               commercialization of life
                                                                                               science technologies.

                                                                                               The Arizona Biomedical
                                                                                               Collaborative I (ABC I) a
                                                                                               four story building of ap-
                                                                                               proximately 85,000 square
                                                                                               feet. The facility is located
                                                                                               along 5th Street south of
                                                                                               the TGen/IGC headquar-
                                                                                               ters. The ABC I houses the
                                                                                               ASU Department of Bio-
                                                                                               informatics and wet lab
                                                                                               space for the U of A Col-
                                                                                               lege of Medicine, diabe-
                                                                                               tes, cancer, and neuro-
                                                                                               logical research.

                                                                                               Phoenix Union Bioscience
                                                                                               High School, located in
                                                                                               close proximity to the
                                                                                               Phoenix Biomedical Cam-
                                                                                               pus, prepares tomorrow’s
2004 in a $46 million, six-    The University of Arizona       plying its technologies to
story, 170,000 square foot     College of Pharmacy -           the early detection of lung     scientists, engineers and
laboratory and research        Phoenix opened an office        cancer and will estab-          medical       professionals
facility.                      in the city-owned TGen fa-      lish and operate a public       by providing students a
                               cility in 2007. A core of key   biomedical research lab         unique science education
The National Institute of      administrative staff direct     within the TGen / IGC facil-
Diabetes and Digestive         Phoenix-based         opera-                                    through intensive collabo-
                                                               ity. BioAccel is a non-profit
and      Kidney    Disorders   tions and plan the expan-       organization dedicated to       ration with the academic
(NIDDK)         laboratories   sion of post-degree, PhD        transforming discoveries        and scientific communi-
identifies and character-      and PharmD activities to
                                                               into new business oppor-        ties in downtown Phoenix.
izes susceptibility genes      come.
for diabetes and obesity
as these affect the Native     St. Joseph’s Hospital and
American population.           Medical Center research
                               laboratories on the PBC
The University of Arizona      allow for interaction be-
College of Medicine -          tween TGen and investi-
Phoenix began with 24          gators from Barrow Neuro-
students in fall 2007 and      logical Institute, the Heart
expects to expand to           & Lung Institute and other
120 students annually.         academic and clinical di-
They are located in the        visions of St. Joseph’s Hos-
renovated historic former      pital.
Phoenix Union High School
buildings along Van Bu-        VisionGate, who is relo-
ren between 5th and 7th        cating from the Seattle
streets.                       area, is committed to ap-


20
 k e yn o te                               Speakers                                    —
 By Tricia Gomes




k i c k -O f f l u n c h —
Wednesday, nOveMbeR 3
               RObeRt lang
                                           Brookings Mountain West and a Pro-          demographic and spatial analysis,
                                           fessor of Sociology at the University       housing, and metropolitan gover-
                                           of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He is          nance. He has authored over 150
                                           also a non-resident Senior Fellow at        academic and professional pub-
                                           the Brookings Institution in Washing-       lications on a wide range of top-
                                           ton, DC. Dr. Lang also serves as the        ics, and has developed many new
                                           Interim Director of the Lincy Founda-       urban planning concepts such as
                                           tion at UNLV and is a current Fellow        “Boomburbs,” “Edgeless Cities,”
                                           of the Urban Land Institute.                and “Megapolitan Areas.” Dr. Lang
                                                                                       has managed over 3 million dollars
                                           In 2008, Dr. Lang was a Fulbright Fel-      in research grants since 1996. He has
                                           low at the École Normale Supérieure         also given over 200 professional and
                                           in Paris. In 2006, he was a Visiting Dis-   academic talks since that date. Dr.
                                           tinguished Professor at Arizona State       Lang’s research has been featured
                                           University. Dr. Lang was also recently      in the USA Today, New York Times,
                                           a Planning and Development Fel-             Washington Post, Wall Street Jour-
                                           low of the Lincoln Institute of Land        nal, US News and World Report and
                                                                                       reported on by NPR, CNN, MSNBC,
                                           Policy, and a Visiting Fellow of the
                                                                                       FOX News, and ABC World News To-
                                           University of California.
                                                                                       night.


R   obert E. Lang will kick off the 2010   Prior to joining UNLV, Dr. Lang was
                                                                                       Dr. Lang’s work includes the books
    Arizona State Planning Confer-         a Professor and Director of the Ur-
                                                                                       Edgeless Cities: Exploring the Elusive
ence as the keynote speaker for the        ban Affairs and Planning program            Metropolis (2003) and Boomburbs:
Opening Kick-off Lunch on Wednes-          at Virginia Tech in Alexandria, VA          the Rise of America’s Accidental
                                           and served as the founding Director         Cities (2007) which are published by
day, November 3, 2010. Dr. Lang
                                           of the Metropolitan Institute. Before       the Brookings Institution Press. He is
will discuss “The Arizona Sun Corri-
                                           Virginia Tech, he was Director of Ur-       also co-author of three edited vol-
dor: Prospect for Long-term Growth
                                           ban and Metropolitan Research at            umes on the census titled Redefin-
Through 2040”.                             Fannie Mae in Washington, DC. Dr.           ing Urban and Suburban America:
                                           Lang has served as editor on several        Evidence from Census 2000, also
The real impact of the recession is        academic journals, including Hous-          by the Brookings Institution Press. Dr.
slower growth in the first half of this    ing Policy Debate and the Journal           Lang’s newest book titled The New
decade than had been projected.            of the American Planning Associa-           Politics of Planning (2009) was pub-
There is an assumption that growth         tion.                                       lished by the Urban Land Institute.
will resume by 2013. Even from July                                                    His next book is Megapolitans and
1, 2008 to July 1, 2009, Maricopa          Dr. Lang received a Ph.D. in Sociol-        Megaregions: The Emergence of
County gained 75,000 residents ac-         ogy from Rutgers University, where          Large-Scale American Urban Sys-
cording to the U.S. Census.                he also taught sociology and urban          tems, which will be published by the
                                           studies. His research specialties in-       American Planning Association in
Dr. Lang is Research Director of           clude suburban studies, real estate,        July 2010.




21
 k e yn o te                           Speakers                                 —
 By Tricia Gomes




aWaRds lunch —
thuRsday, nOveMbeR 4
         dOnOvan
         RypkeMa
                                       view....even if that position remains    Today Mr. Rypkema is recognized as
                                       the voice in the wilderness.             an industry leader in the econom-
                                                                                ics of preserving historic structures.
                                       Donovan Rypkema is principal of          Since 1983 he has provided ongo-
                                       PlaceEconomics, a Washington,            ing consulting services to the Na-
                                       D.C.-based real estate and eco-          tional Trust for Historic Preservation
                                                                                and its National Main Street Cen-
                                       nomic        development-consulting
                                                                                ter. He has undertaken assignments
                                       firm. The firm specializes in services
                                                                                in 49 states, 9 Canadian provinces
                                       to public and non-profit sector cli-     and over 30 countries.
                                       ents who are dealing with down-
                                       town and neighborhood commer-            Rypkema was educated at Colum-
                                       cial district revitalization and the     bia University where he received a
                                       reuse of historic structures. In 2004    Masters of Science degree in His-
                                       Rypkema       established    Heritage    toric Preservation. He has lectured
                                       Strategies International, a new firm     widely on economic and preserva-
                                       created to provide similar servic-       tion issues relating to rehabilitation,
                                       es to world-wide clients. He also        community development and com-
On Thursday, November 4, 2010,
                                       teaches a graduate course in pres-       mercial revitalization. Mr. Rypkema’s
Donovan Rypkema will be the key-
                                       ervation economics at the University     short courses and workshops have
note speaker at the Awards Lun-        of Pennsylvania where he received        been delivered to architects, bank-
cheon. Mr. Rypkema will discuss        the 2008 G. Holmes Perkins Award         ers, developers, preservationists,
“Thinking Long-term in the Midst of    for Distinguished Teaching.              planners, and downtown manag-
Chaos: Future Challenges and Op-                                                ers. He is author of several publica-
portunities for Arizona Planners”.     Rypkema began his consulting             tions including Community Initiated
                                       practice in Rapid City, South Da-        Development, The Economics of
For three years the United States      kota and relocated to Washington,        Rehabilitation, and the Downtown
has been in economic chaos, and        DC in 1985. He has performed real        Real Estate Development Series. His
                                       estate and economic development          articles have appeared in the Jour-
Arizona has been particularly hard
                                                                                nal of the American Planning Asso-
hit. But in response to that chaos     consulting services throughout the
                                                                                ciation, Architectural Record, The
public budgets, political bickering,   United States for State and local
                                                                                Journal of Commercial Bank Lend-
and ideological idiocy are having      governments and non-profit orga-         ing, The Responsive Community,
impacts that will negatively impact    nizations with interests in a broad      Urban Land, Real Estate Finance,
towns and cities for generations.      range of properties, from National       Investment Decisions, Places, Pres-
                                       Historic Landmark Structures to Main     ervation Forum, Vital Speeches, the
As a result the planner is caught
                                       Street commercial centers. His spe-      Bulletin of Science, Technology &
between the professional responsi-
                                       cific fields of consultation include:    Society and others. In Washington
bility of thinking long term and po-   feasibility analyses for real estate     he has served on the Boards of Di-
litical and economic forces that       development; training in communi-        rectors of North Capital Neighbor-
are almost exclusively focused on      ty-based development; economic           hood Development Corporation
the short term. This keynote speech    revitalization of downtowns and          and the Washington Council of
will address this conflict and make    neighborhood commercial centers;         Agencies.
the case for the importance of         and the rehabilitation of historic
the planner advocating the long        structures.                              In the US Rypkema has worked with
22
 k e yn o te                             Speakers                                            —
 By Tricia Gomes




such groups as the Urban Land In-
stitute, the Mayors’ Institute on City
Design, the American Planning As-
sociation and the International
Downtown Association.

International clients have included
the World Bank, the Inter American
Development Bank, the Council of
Europe, the United Nations Devel-
opment Program, Europa Nostra                                REGISTRATION NOW GOING ON!
and others. He serves on the Board
of Global Urban Development and                            Ever wish there was a training class that you could send your
recently testified at a hearing of the    Planning Commissioners & Board of Adjustment Members to that would teach them everything they
European Parliament.                                                      need to know about their job?

                                                                  Do some of your Commissioners and Members need a
Federal Government clients have                                 refresher course? Or, would you like to reward them for all
included the U.S. Army, the Depart-                                             their time and dedication?
ment of State, the Department of
                                                                      Do you have staff members that could benefit
Housing and Urban Development,
                                                                          from Board & Commission training?
the Department of Interior, and
others.                                                          Wouldn’t it be great if Planners & Commissioners could
                                                               get together and discuss common issues in a setting outside
In recent years Mr. Rypkema has                                              of the monthly public hearing?
conducted statewide studies of the                         Registration is now open for the 2010 Boards & Commissions
economic impact of historic preser-            Conference to be held November 3, 2010 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix,
vation in Virginia, Kentucky, North                                Arizona. The conference will run concurrent
Carolina, Indiana, New York and                            with the first day of the 2010 Annual APA Arizona Conference.
Maryland and a citywide study in          This one-day conference features timely, in-depth training, tools and information for Board of
Philadelphia.                             Adjustment members, Planning & Zoning commissioners, planning staff, elected officials and
                                          students. The opening plenary session will feature Martin Shultz of Pinnacle West speaking
An updated edition of Rypkema’s            about the “Community Involvement and the Importance of Planning for our Future.” Robert
book, The Economics of Historic           Lang, Research Director of Brookings Mountain West and author of the book Edgeless Cities:
Preservation: A Community Lead-                     Exploring the Elusive Metropolis, will speak at the Lunch Plenary Session.
er’s Guide, was published by the                                         Breakout session topics include:
National Trust for Historic preserva-     •	    Your 1st Day as Commissioner, What You Should Know;
tion in 2005 and is widely used by        •	    What You Need to make a Decision: Findings of Fact;
preservationists nationwide. In 2006      •	    Planning & Zoning Commissioners Learning from Experience;
the Russian Center for Heritage Trust-    •	    Board of Adjustment Basics;
eeship translated and published a         •	    Board of Adjustment Case Studies;
Russian edition of the book and a         •	    Powers & Limitations for Board of Adjustment.
Korean translation was recently re-                   Stay for the day, or join APA Arizona for the full 3-day Planning Conference!
leased.
                                                      Discounted early registration for the Boards & Commissions Conference
                                                                             by August 16 is only $100.

                                                          Full 3-day conference registration for Planning Commissioners or
                                                           Board of Adjustment members is $195 if paid by August 16th.

                                                                                   Register online at
                                                          https://web.memberclicks.com/mc/quickForm/viewForm.
                                                                      do?orgId=azapa&formId=84618

                                                Questions about the 2010 Boards & Commissions Conference: Contact Jenifer Corey,
                                                        Conference Chairperson, at 602.256.4402 or jcorey@gblaw.com

                                                                          Questions about Registration:
                                                        Contact the APA Arizona at 602-866-7188 or info@azplanning.org


23
VISION                                                                                                                          August 2010




                                    PLANNING NEWS
A. SUSTAINABILITY

               CITY PARKS, BRINGING URBAN CENTERS BACK TO LIFE
                                                                  By JoAnn Greco
I watch as a man lazily makes his way over the steppingstones in           ultimately completes the puzzle.
a low-slung pool that emerges from a limestone-clad water wall.
Nearby, framed by the steel of St. Louis’s iconic Gateway Arch,            For visitors, these new downtown parks offer more than
a mother points out a gleaming red Mark di Suvero sculpture                tantalizing glimmers of hope and welcome rays of sunshine.
to her toddler, and fountains mist two besuited men as they                In St. Louis, world-class sculpture is the standout; in Detroit, a
engage in shop talk and scarf down lunchtime hot dogs.                     varied slate of live entertainment keeps things hopping; and in
                                                                           Houston, boccie courts and model boat racing offer a perfect
This is St. Louis’s                                                                                                  afternoon of family fun.
Citygarden, a small part of
a master plan to redevelop                                                                                         Here’s a closer look at this
the Gateway Mall, a                                                                                                trio.
1.2-mile ribbon of green
space connecting the still-                                                                                        St. Louis:
splendid Arch                                                                                                      Citygarden
with the once-grand                                                                                                St. Louis Deputy Mayor
Union Station. The mall’s                                                                                          for Development Bar-
fortunes rose and fell with                                                                                        bara Geisman calls the
St. Louis’s cycles of growth                                                                                       privately funded $30 mil-
(in the early 1900s it was                                                                                         lion Citygarden (a figure
among the five most                                                                                                that doesn’t include the
populous American cities)                                                                                          costs of acquiring the
and abandonment (scores                                                                                            23 sculptures, some by
of buildings were razed                                                                                            famous names) “one of
by midcentury) before                                                                                              the best things to happen
ending up as a patchwork                                                                                           in downtown in many
of empty, littered and                                                                                             decades.” Nearby lofts
overgrown lots.                                                                                                    converted from derelict
                                                                                                                   warehouses tout the park
Citygarden, then, is more                                                  as an amenity, and plans for restoring the city’s Kiel Opera House,
than just a pretty face. In the past year, seemingly every city            located farther north of the mall, may finally go ahead.
I’ve landed in has boasted a new park or was in the process of
planning one. But whereas parks unveiled in recent years by                Citygarden (www.citygardenstl.org), which celebrated its first
New York and Chicago - the much-ballyhooed High Line and                   anniversary last month, is set on a narrow, two-block strip dotted
Millennium Park, respectively - serve as desserts added to the             with sculptures. But while I found that an Aristide Maillol nude
already laden menus of residents and tourists, it seems that new           here and a Fernand Lger bronze relief there place Citygarden
parks in other cities are burdened with a much more challenging            in the realm ofany big-city sculpture garden, I was most taken
mandate.                                                                   by the way the park is connected to its geography. A brochure
                                                                           explained that walls made of locally quarried limestone echo
In cities such as St. Louis, Houston and Detroit - all victims of          the curves of the nearby Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and a
disinvestment in the 1960s and ‘70s - new parks are charged with           series of terraces represents the high ground of the river bluff.
spurring development and creating downtowns that are places                Plantings, too, tend toward the native - thanks to careful curation
to live, not just work. It’s a role previously assigned to the ‘80s-era    by the prestigious Missouri Botanical Garden - with seasonal
performing arts center and the ‘90s-era downtown sports venue.             grasses and wildflowers chosen to adorn the park instead of
Thanks to parks’ across-the-board appeal, wide diversity of uses           beds of annuals and hothouse flowers. Unlike other new parks,
and heavy programming, though, they may be the piece that                  this one isn’t heavily programmed. Instead, if offers serenity

24
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and natural beauty. And there’s water, water everywhere. Three          edge of Houston’s downtown. The park (www.discoverygreen.
fountains cascade down terraces, jet across plazas and lap over         com) celebrated its second anniversary in April.
sculptures. The one concession to commercialism is the Terrace          Houston is a place where no small plans are made. At 12.5 acres,
View restaurant, located in a pavilion in one of the park’s corners.    built for the rather astounding sum of $122 million through a
It serves an all-day, Mediterranean-inspired menu and is great for      public-private venture, the Green features transported 100-year-
tapas, happy hour or Sunday brunch.                                     old live oaks, two restaurants, a playground, a stage, a boccie
                                                                        court, a dog run and a model boat pond/ice rink. Residents can
Detroit: Campus Martius Park                                            even enjoy a mobile library service and reading room, where you
The ambitious relics of urban renewal trends past - the people          can supposedly have a library book delivered to you. I didn’t try
mover and the new sports stadiums, the casinos and the re-              it, but it sounded like a great idea.
newed waterfront - are strewn all over Detroit. But the privately
funded $20 million Campus Martius Park - its name means                 I did sample lunch at the Grove, the more elegant of two
“military ground” and refers to land that served that purpose on        restaurants in the park. Its picture windows, wooden ceilings
the site in the 1780s - places its bets on simpler pleasures. Here in   and great views of both the park and the city skyline would have
the center of downtown, movable chairs, a fountain, regular arts        made me happy no matter what. But the creative farm-to-table,
programming and greenery are all it takes to draw crowds.               vaguely Tex-Mex (pulled rotisserie chicken tacos with grilled corn,
After five years, the hoped-for urban development has started           spicy shrimp salad with avocado and mango) menu only added
to occur: Nearby, Westin Hotels has invested $200 million in            to the pleasures of a lazy afternoon.
restoring the Book Cadillac, a 1924 grande dame that was once
the tallest hotel in the world and a favorite of Hollywood’s elite.     This amenities-laden park is a prime example of how investment
                                                                        can transform a neighborhood. Even before it was completed,
More piazza than park, the one-acre Campus Martius (www.                a developer bought an adjacent lot with the idea of opening
campusmartiuspark.com) emphasizes lawns and keeps most of               One Park Place - a moniker from the mouths of marketers, if ever
its flora - gorgeous flowering trees and botanical beds - along the     there was one. The first apartment tower to go up in Houston
perimeter. The Michigan Soldiers & Sailors Monument, erected in         in decades, it started renting this year and is about 65 percent
1872 at the junction of five principal streets, anchors one corner,     occupied. Its promised ground-floor retail has yet to materialize.
giving the space a sense of grandness and civic importance. On          On the western perimeter of the park, an Embassy Suites Hotel
the summer afternoon when I stopped by, workers on lunch                and a 31-story office tower will arrive early next year.
break clustered at the base of the 56-foot-high granite memorial,
which is peppered with bronze figures representing the military         The park has been a beehive of activity, presenting some 400
branches. On Wednesdays during the summer, a local radio                events in a year, including movie nights, children’s writing
station sponsors noontime concerts from area bands and cover            workshops and tango instructions. More than a million visitors,
groups (Cheap Trick! Rod Stewart!).                                     30 percent of them from the distant suburbs and out of town,
                                                                        have taken advantage of its amenities and performances. The
Houston: Discovery Green                                                kicker, says Susanne Theis, the park’s programming director, is
Discovery Green lays a LEED-certified carpet of green over the          that “weekends have proved to be the most popular days. We
site of two former surface parking lots (the parking has been bur-      weren’t expecting that at all.”
ied) and is strategically located in front of the George R. Brown
Convention Center and between the Minute Maid Park baseball             Greco is a Philadelphia-based travel writer and editor of the City
stadium and the Toyota Center football dome at the eastern              Traveler Web site (www.thecitytraveler.com).




25
VISION                                                                                                                         August 2010



       GREENING, AND FEEDING, THE CITY WITH A ‘GARDEN BLOCK’
                                                              By Daniel Nairn
                                                         Renderings by Daniel Nairn
It looks like one of the main take-aways from the Congress for          and Serenbe in the exurbs of Atlanta. Kaid Benfield has this to say
the New Urbanism 18 conference is something being labeled               about these “farming is the new golf” developments,
“agrarian urbanism.” Fast Company is calling it the “new new
urbanism” and Treehugger has described the notion as the                “In theory, these “new towns” are great -- self-contained entities
next phase in the evolution of this 30-year old movement. New           providing walkability, efficiency, and all the services of a
Urbanism leader Andrés Duany, in particular, has been pushing           community within the development. So, their proponents (nearly
pretty hard in this direction for the last couple of years.             all of whom profit from them, one way or another) claim, it is a
                                                                        good thing to build them almost anywhere. In practice, though,
Briefly, the idea is that walkable neighborhoods could                   the nearby once-remote locations soon become filled with
be intentionally structured so that food production is                        sprawl, in no small part because of the initial development,
integrated into the physical form and the lifestyle                               and the theoretical self-contained transportation
of the inhabitants. In other words, it’s a                                                 efficiency never comes. They become
synthesis between urban and                                                                        commuter suburbs, just with a more
rural.                                                                                                    appealing internal design than
                                                                                                                    that of their neighbors.”
Instead of
embedding                                                                                                                 So can this vision
hamlets within                                                                                                            work? Or is
a rural landscape,                                                                                                       building agrarian
the garden block                                                                                                    urbanism like serving
embeds pockets of                                                                                            a glass of hot cold water? I’d
agriculture within the urban                                                                             like to play with this a little and
landscape. It is not a stand-                                                                       consider what it would look like if we
alone community but just another                                                               followed Duany’s vision but flipped it on its
gene sequence to be spliced into the                                                        head. Instead of embedding hamlets within a
DNA of existing inner suburbs and cities.                                           rural landscape, the garden block embeds pockets of
                                                                                agriculture within the urban landscape. It is not a stand-
Of course, this new new urbanism is really                                   alone community but just another gene sequence to be
no newer than the old new urbanism was (but                             spliced into the DNA of existing inner suburbs and cities.
that’s fine). One of the primary motivations behind
Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow concept was to             Start with the standard grid. It can be found all over North
connect working-class households with a viable food supply to           America, but the following sketch is based on the 340-by-
relieve some of their financial stress. He landed on the number         340-foot block in the Fan neighborhood of Richmond. Cobble
of 12 dwelling units per acre (DUA) as the magic density for            together property ownership for the whole block into something
self-sufficiency with affordability, and he worked out a form           like a community land trust. Households would own their home
of common land ownership to help it along. Urban planner                individually but share ownership of the land with the other 38,
Christopher Alexander thought that something more like a tenth          in this case, units on the block. Certain commitments to planting
of an acre was necessary to supply vegetables to a family of            and maintaining the garden, either personally or through
four. He had plenty of practical, timeless advice for arranging an      payment, would be built into an HOA contract.
urban living space accordingly. More recently, some architects
have been using the word “rurbalization” to describe this sort of       The exterior of the block functions as in any other urban area.
synthesis. Having recently passed through the grad-school circuit       The public streets are activated by the fronts of the buildings
myself, I can attest to a strong interest in food systems among         and streetscape features, and the full range of transportation
new graduates.                                                          access to the rest of the city is available. The interior, on the other
                                                                        hand, is devoted to the more constrained social scale of the
I think these are good trends. Local food systems should                block community, and the structures serve as a wall protecting
inform urban design and vice versa, but I’m not sure the                this garden area. Enclosure is necessary to provide a degree of
new developments being modeled have been able to find                   privacy, to protect produce from theft and vandalism, and to
this synthesis without swallowing one side with the other --            keep animals from wandering.
specifically, subsuming the urbanism into the bucolic landscape.
This seems to be the case with Southlands in British Columbia           By the numbers, this block allows a density of 15 DUA while

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VISION                                                                                                                    August 2010



keeping 28 percent of all land for growing produce. This is not        Green roof: I know these things are expensive for now, but in
food self-sufficiency, but I’m personally not too worried about        this case it’s integral to the whole concept. Connected directly
these kinds of absolutes.                                              to the rest of the grounds by an outdoor elevator, it expands
                                                                       the growing area measurably. Less tangibly, the views to north
Here are some of the pieces:                                           into the block help create a sense of internal cohesion, and
Mix of housing types: One might expect retirees and young              the southern views to the rest of the city a sense of external
families alike to be attracted to growing their own food, but          connection.
there is a broad range in housing needs between these two
groups. Allowing a range of housing types could facilitate
lifecycle diversity, as well as allowing those from different income
levels to share the same space. The larger homes include their
own growing plot delineated by a short fence.




                                                                       Greenhouse and car sharing: A greenhouse is one of the
                                                                       most efficient uses of solar energy, and it’s necessary in most
                                                                       climates for extending the growing season. A single 4100 sq. ft.
                                                                       greenhouse should be sufficient to meet the needs for the whole
Shared resources: The shady northern side of the condo                 block. There is off-street parking available at a rate of roughly
buildings is a place for the utilitarian functions. Gardening          one space per three units. The relative paucity of spaces may be
requires many resources that can be shared by the whole block.         compensated for by car-sharing. For areas with greater transit
shed is accessed from the side by the glass elevator. A water          accessibility, this lot could be substituted with two homes
cistern collects and stores runoff from the buildings above.
Chicken coops are lined up against the building. Although
chickens need sunlight, some shade could benefit them as
well. Maybe they could be on wheels. The composting bins
are directly in front of the block’s dumpster, so households can
deposit their organic waste while taking out the trash.




                                                                       Corner store: The corner store is the public interface of the block
                                                                       and a neighborhood shopping hub. Possibly, excess produce and
                                                                       supplies from the garden could be sold here. The upperfloors
                                                                       could be leased out to offices or any other reasonably
                                                                       compatible use.
Childrens’ area: The playground and “kindergarten” is in full view
of the whole grounds. Children have their own 24’ by 31’ plot to
grow whatever they choose. A row of fruit trees creates a sound
barrier for the adjacent rowhouses. Being within the enclosed
communal area allows parents a certain assurance of safety.




                                                                       So what do you think? Would you want to live in a block like this?

                                                                       Republished with permission from Discovering Urbanism.

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VISION                                                                                                                             August 2010




        Dan Christian enjoys the beautiful day in downtown London, Ontario, across from the Covent Garden Market, Thursday, June 29, 2010.


 MID-SIZED CITIES MAKE PROGRESS IN REVITALIZING DOWNTOWNS
                                              By Chris Atchison (Special to Globe and Mail Update)
Injecting new into a fading urban core takes a careful blend                as closer proximity to family — they concluded that a move to
of innovative tinkering and visionary planning. First step:                 this city of about 355,000 made sense.
Recognizing that traditional retail players are gone for good.
                                                                            Like London, smaller cities across Canada are investing millions to
When Dan Christian and his wife recently decided to move their              kick-start growth and bring foot traffic and entrepreneurs like Mr.
family from Toronto to London, Ont., they were looking for a                Christian back to their downtown cores.
place to raise their children and launch a new tech venture.
                                                                            But revitalizing a tired downtown is an uphill battle that requires
But rather than head for the suburbs, as hordes of people have              more than money — it takes time, strategic vision, a diversity of
done for decades in this and other mid-sized Canadian cities,               businesses and a realization that competing head-to-head with
they found the lifestyle they were looking for in a rejuvenating            the likes of Wal-Mart is a non-starter.
downtown core.
                                                                            “I believe making a main street from scratch or keeping a vibrant
They were blown away by the funky boutiques and fine dining                 street in a small or medium-sized city is the most difficult task
on King Street and other bustling boulevards. They were equally             in city-making,” says David Gordon, the director of the School of
impressed by an influx of new companies and an increasingly                 Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s University in Kingston,
sophisticated entrepreneurial environment.                                  Ont. “The market forces that are arrayed against you are very
                                                                            difficult to deal with.”
“There’s a lot more industry there now. There’s an educated work
force and an affluent community, but without the high costs                 Over time, those forces — in particular the drive toward
of (Toronto),” Mr. Christian explains. “(London) is also becoming           suburbanization — have slowly squeezed the life out of once-
more tech savvy and can foster more opportunities like that.”               thriving downtowns.

With an appealing downtown fit for their new business — as well             “We did a survey seven years ago of planners across North

28
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America and we asked them to identify downtowns of medium-            and summer with regular outdoor concerts and festivals such as
sized cities of between 70,000 and 700,000 people which were          the successful blues and busker festivals.
in a bad state, unhealthy or declining, and it was virtually all of
them,” Pierre Filion, a professor at the University of Waterloo’s     The events cost the city about $100,000 to stage – all of which
School of Planning, recalls., “There was only about 10 per cent       is covered by admission and sponsorship revenue – and return
that were doing well.”                                                upward of $2.5-million in local economic activity.

Despite the bleak assessments, cities across the country are          “We did physical revitalization in a lot of places,” says Doug
making progress in transforming dilapidated downtowns. The            Ritchie, managing director of Downtown Kingston, the local
key, say urban planners, is to understand that injecting new          business improvement area (BIA), “but we knew it was just a
life into a downtown core takes a careful blend of innovative         stage. You still have to put something on it.”
tinkering and visionary planning.
                                                                      Improving downtown infrastructure is a must
Here are five key truths that civic leaders should embrace to
reinvigorate their tired downtowns:                                   Cities that have enjoyed some success rejuvenating or limiting
                                                                      the decline of their downtowns, such as Kelowna, B.C., and
                                                                      Kingston, have invested heavily in infrastructure, says Larry
Traditional downtown retail is dead                                   Beasley, Vancouver’s former director of planning and a professor
The retail revitalization of central London is working, says Joe      at the University of British Columbia.
Berridge, a partner at Toronto-based urban planning consultancy
Urban Strategies Inc., because local officials accepted the idea      That includes everything from street lighting and public bench
that once major retailers bolted to regional shopping malls or        upgrades to road improvements designed to slow traffic and
big-box “power centres,” they weren’t coming back.                    improve the pedestrian experience. But it also means investing
                                                                      in event infrastructure to lure visitors from within and outside the
Instead, the city focused on restoring its vibrancy with renewed      city.
residential and office development, and a completely different
retail product – cafes, restaurants and specialty entertainment in    The Kingston BIA, explains Mr. Ritchie, recently contributed
place of major department stores.                                     $3-million to the construction of downtown’s $47.5-million
                                                                      K-Rock Centre. The facility hosts about 90 events – from hockey
Case in point: the downtown shopping centre Citi Plaza – which        games to concerts — annually.
once housed The Bay – has been re-imagined as a multipurpose
venue housing London’s central library, retail and office space, as   The venue provides the city of 120,000 with a full slate of events
well as satellite campuses of Fanshawe College and the University     to keep downtown busy during its chilly winters. “Having new
of Western Ontario.                                                   curtains at your theatre isn’t going to improve attendance,” Mr.
                                                                      Ritchie says. “You still have to have a show to draw them in.”
Restrictive levies and bylaws no longer make
sense                                                                 In another major programming success, Kingston converted its
                                                                      popular farmers’ market – a former parking lot – into an outdoor
To attract new businesses and residential development to              skating rink in winter. The space now draws an additional 40,000
downtown, London removed development charges and parking              people to downtown each year.
requirements for new residential construction.
                                                                      Development incentives are crucial
The result? Property value assessments in the core have increased
by 22 per cent since 1998, while the city’s downtown population       In London’s case, council established a downtown “incentive
has grown by nearly 37 per cent.                                      zone” and promoted direct investment in new construction and
                                                                      the refurbishment of older buildings, including the Upgrade to
Downtown is a dynamic event space                                     Building Code Loan Program and the Downtown Rehabilitation
                                                                      and Redevelopment Grant Program.
When Cataraqui Town Centre opened on Kingston’s periphery
in 1982, city planners knew that despite having recession-proof       “That’s probably one of the biggest successes that we’ve had,”
institutions such as Queen’s University and CFB Kingston at their     Mr. Barrett says of the latter initiative. “In the 10 years since we
doorstep, they needed to act fast to insulate downtown from           started this, we’ve added over 1,700 new residential units in the
increasing suburbanization.                                           downtown.” Officials estimate the program will eventually deliver
                                                                      an estimated $38-million in additional tax revenue.
Officials began aggressively programming downtown in spring



29
VISION                                                                                                                            August 2010



B. TRANSPORTATION




                                                                                                                             Death by fast food.
                                                                                                 Credit: photo courtesy of flickr user Nomadize


               CAN THE US DOT (DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION)
                               COMBAT OBESITY?
                                                                    By Willy Staley
Last week, in Washington DC, the Robert Wood Johnson                          Adetokunbo Omishakin, who spoke about the thousands of
Foundation and Transportation for America held a roundtable                   households in Nashville who don’t own a car, and live more
discussion called “Keeping Kids Moving”, which examined how                   than one mile from a real grocery store. They have to rely on
federal transportation policy can help keep children safer and                neighborhood corner stores for food—most of which is processed,
healthier, and help achieve Michelle Obama’s ambitious goal of                sodium-laden garbage—to feed their families. Nashville is one of
ending childhood obesity in one generation.                                   the country’s fatter metros, with 28.4% of its population obese,
                                                                              meaning that roughly one in three people in the Nashville metro
In a recent blog post, Ray LaHood acknowledged the connection                 area is overweight to the point that it will affect their health.
between transportation policy and the obesity epidemic.
Transportation policy is “not just about improving sidewalks or bike          Something tells me that, while the US DOT’s eagerness to tackle
paths,” wrote LaHood. “The assumption of the last half of the 20th            this issue by offering better options for Americans is certainly
century was that people would own cars. And because that isn’t                well-intentioned, transportation policy most likely affects obesity
true, people have been forced to make choices that contribute to              rates less than we in the urban planning world would like to think.
the obesity trend.” And LaHood acknowledges that it’s not just the            Take, for example, this Gallup report from last year. Titled “Good
lack of physical activity that leads to obesity in America, it’s also the     Health Habits the Norm in Slimmest U.S. Metro Areas”, the report
secondary effects of our auto-centric transportation policy.                  lists our metro areas from slimmest to fattest. The metros with low
                                                                              rates of obesity are not necessarily powerhouses of innovative
He cites Nashville’s Director of Healthy Living Initiatives,                  transportation policy.
30
VISION                                                                                                                           August 2010



The top two, Fort Collins and Boulder, CO, are college towns that        More likely than anything else is that our reliance on ADM, Cargill,
are both walkable and bikeable. No surprise there. Same goes for         and Tyson to make virtually all of our food has much worse
San Francisco and Denver, numbers 9th and 10th, respectively. But        affects on our bodies than whether we can walk to a bus stop
seeing Colorado Springs (4th), Reno (6th) and San Jose (8th) on the      or not. Beyond that, the fact that we have exported most of our
top ten thinnest cities is a bit surprising. When we think of transit    high-paying manufacturing jobs overseas, and import most of
access and walkability, I guarantee you those cities don’t come to       our cheap labor for agricultural work has left a whole lot more
mind.                                                                    Americans in poverty, without health insurance (it seems worth
                                                                         pointing out here that these are very physically demanding jobs
The average obesity rates for metros is 26.5%, according to              that we’ve gotten rid of—no cubicles here). As a nation, we can’t
Gallup. Here’s a list of metros that, if you believe walkability and     afford good food or a doctor to let us know when we’re slipping
transit access are useful tools for combating obesity, you might         towards obesity. Virtually all of us are forced to eat corn-derivative
be surprised to find clock in at average or above-average obesity        mass-produced food or almost nothing at all. Better bike paths will
rates: Philadelphia (26%); Cincinnati (26.2%); New Orleans (26.4%);      not make a pound of 70/30 ground chuck any more expensive,
Pittsburgh (26.9%); St. Louis (27%); Baltimore (28%). All the way at     healthier, or less ridden with dangerous microbes.
the bottom was Montgomery, AL at 34.6% obese. Montgomery,
too, is an older city that ought to be walkable, and it has one of the   Our national obesity epidemic is an excellent example of where
most infamous public transit systems in the nation.                      three decades of corporate deregulation has taken us. People can’t
                                                                         find decent work, so they can’t afford decent food, and all the food
It is certainly difficult to calculate metrics like transit access and   in the supermarket is processed and raised in unhealthy ways by
walkability, but harder than that would be to correlate those            the large corporations that have bought up the family farms that
metrics with obesity rates. Some of our oldest, densest cities—the       used to dot the country from the Ohio to the Plains.
cities that planners most like to emulate—suffer from epidemic
level obesity rates. And some of our more sprawling metros are           Any meaningful federal effort to combat the obesity epidemic will
much fitter and healthier. Because this DOT initiative has to do         have to take on these corporations, and beyond that, attempt to
with childhood obesity rates, it’s worth pointing out that the same      change Americans’ eating habits. I went to a Denny’s for the first
trend is true for children, according to this 2007 study; the highest    time in years recently and I can honestly say I don’t know which
rate of childhood obesity is in the nation’s capital, an astonishing     will prove more difficult (their menu is separated by the manner
23%, and the lowest rate is in the state of Wisconsin, with 9%. The      in which you get the food from the plate, into your mouth!—Fork
lower end of that graph is filled with states like Idaho, Colorado,      & Knife, Handheld, and so on). But discretionary US DOT funding
Utah, and Minnesota. Again, they’re hardly the states we think of        might not be the answer we want it to be; it’s too easy.
when we think transit equity and walkability.
                                                                         And, as we all know, the US DOT ought to be spending money on
Really, it is much easier to correlate obesity rates with poverty        livability anyway. It’s long overdue, and they don’t need a flimsy
than it is with walkability or livability. That isn’t to say that the    defense like combating obesity to justify it.
US DOT shouldn’t be working on increasing our transit and
livability options, it’s just to say that no one should be surprised     Willy Staley is an Urban Leaders Fellow, sponsored by the Rockefeller
if these initiatives fail to provide any meaningful decreases in the     Foundation. He writes the Urban Nation column for Next American
obesity rate.                                                            City, which will cover and comment on federal urban policy
                                                                         throughout 2010. Contact him at willy@americancity.org




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                      THE FUTURE OF CITIES AND TRANSPORTATION
                                                    By Mathias Crawford via GOOD Blog
Bus rapid transit systems and “complete streets” are great. But to     to the complex problems faced by cities need to strike a balance
design urban transportation systems that are truly sustainable,        between addressing current needs and building in flexibility that
we have to think much further ahead.                                   can accommodate future behaviors.

By the end of the 19th century, cities throughout Europe faced         Today, cities are again facing important dilemmas about
a crisis: They were literally drowning in horse manure. Thought        infrastructure. From the efforts described in Robert Sullivan’s
leaders of the day knew it to be a forgone certainty that dealing      excellent New York Magazine piece on Bus Rapid Transport,
with the waste of horses was going to be the most pressing             which addressed the growing complexity of commuting
concern for urban planners of the 20th century.                        patterns in New York, to plans for bringing bicycle superhighways
                                                                       to cities such as London cities, there is a growing realization
At the time this thinking made perfect sense. Horses had               that we have to reform our resource-depleting, socially-isolating
dominated commerce and personal mobility for centuries, and            reliance on single-occupancy car travel.
as the population grew, it was logical to expect that solving this
looming infrastructural problem would demand larger amounts            But how? Solving problems such as bus routes is extremely
of intellectual and financial capital.                                 important, but within the coming decades these solutions
                                                                       may themselves become obsolete. Will Bus Rapid Transit make
Of course, cars solved the horseshit problem.                          sense in a world without reliable oil supplies? Similarly, the
                                                                       problems themselves may become drastically transformed or
The parable of the horse illustrates an inherent tension of futures    even obsolete. While we are engineering solutions to current
thinking. While we must build towards a better world based             problems, we should also make sure that our cities are being
on current problems, the future is almost certain to be radically      designed for long-term resilience.
different from what we plan for. This is why successful solutions
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Transportation is one area where the mismatch between                change in a world that blends the physical with information.
planners’ assumptions and the uncertainly of future needs is         We can start by re-envisioning how a highly mobile, highly
growing alarmingly wide. One way to anticipate future needs          connected individual might situate herself in such a city. What if
of cities is to better understand the changing ways, and reasons     the commute environment wasn’t designed to physically move
why, people move around cities. This kind of understanding           people as quickly as possible, but instead was a connected and
will allow us to start creating cities that are flexible enough to   functional work environment itself? Or a site for games and fun
respond to the as-yet unknown future demands we will place on        social interactions? Or a mobile day care? What would change
them.                                                                in the way that we design and implement changes to our urban
                                                                     infrastructure?
For example, transformations to the organization of our cities
will undoubtedly come from how advances in communications            For an example of how transportation might change, we can
technologies are reshaping our personal interactions. So, one        look to Barcelona-based Citilab. Citilab has experimented with
way to apply futures thinking to city planning is to think about     ways to make our commutes less isolating by, say, conducting
how information technologies are changing the way that people        meetings on city buses, turning them into collaborative,
conceive of themselves within cities, and the reasons they move      productive work spaces. Watching a video of a meeting
around them.                                                         conducted on the Barcelona metro, we can see a potential future
                                                                     commute, which moves beyond using our mobile devices to
Anthony Townsend, a colleague of mine at the Institute for the       type out emails while we head to work, towards sharing ideas
Future who consults on urban development projects around the         and resources with a theoretically limitless roster of colleagues.
world, has suggested that we think of our cities as “information
spaces to be navigated, and browsed more efficiently with            In a recent Newsweek series on the Future of Work, the
our bodies.” In other words, when we realize that our locations      architecture and design firm Gensler introduces a vision of the
in cities are continuously connected with information about          future of Los Angeles that is very much in line with this thinking.
location-specific historic and projected events, for example, we     Gensler’s vision states that, “In the future, life, work, commuting
can make more meaningful decisions, both as individuals and at       and recreation will not be experienced as distinct activities, but
the level of city planning.                                          will blend into one lifestyle.”

The implications of location data are clear when we look at          Reinventing the city as a place where this kind of blending can
developments like Twitter mood maps, and think about how we          occur requires planners to reject long-held assumptions about
might design cities based on insights gleaned from location-         where we do work, where we play, and what occupies the space
aware information produced on a social media platform. By            between.
mining and analyzing this information—maybe a particular
intersection shows people expressing high levels of frustration      In short, the future requires city planners who have learned from
at particular times of the day—we will begin to see how              the parable of the horse. The future needs of cities will almost
our infrastructures and patterns of interaction evoke certain        certainly look different than the needs we are planning for today,
emotional responses. Any city dweller knows how empty the            and so while we develop solutions for problems in the short
space beneath elevated highways feels. As we start to be able to     term, we also need to make sure that we re building cities that
map these emotions to physical spaces, we can start developing       can adapt to the ways we will want to live.
infrastructure that addresses needs like happiness as well as
efficiency. What if Google Maps provided a “happiest route,” along   Mathias Crawford is a research manager at The Institute for the
with the most direct one?                                            Future.

We can also imagine that the purpose of transportation will          Illustration by Claire A. Thompson.




33
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                   PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEMS CONTRIBUTE TO
               WEIGHT LOSS AND IMPROVED HEALTH, STUDY FINDS
                                                      From Science Daily, June 28, 2010
Increasing the availability of public transit systems is one among       in physical activity as part of the broader set of cost-benefit
a number of modifications to the built environment that offers           calculations of transit systems.
opportunities for increasing physical activity and reducing the
prevalence of obesity and its associated problems.                       Land- use planning and travel choice have a clear impact on
                                                                         health outcomes. Public transit systems can generate positive
In a study published in the August issue of the American Journal         health impacts by encouraging greater numbers of users to
of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of               walk to station stops and maintain more physically active lives.
Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the RAND Corporation found           An added benefit of public policy investments in LRT, on top
that construction of a light-rail system (LRT) resulted in increased     of the general transportation benefits accrued, is the potential
physical activity (walking) and subsequent weight loss by                reductions in obesity in the population.”
people served by the LRT. These findings suggest that improving
neighborhood environments and increasing the public’s use of             Using two surveys, one collecting data prior to the completion of
LRT systems could improve health outcomes and potentially                an LRT in Charlotte, North Carolina, the second after completion,
impact millions of individuals.                                          investigators found that using light rail for commuting was
                                                                         associated with reductions in body mass index (BMI) over time.
Public policy implications of the study are significant. “The            Specifically, LRT reduced BMI by an average of 1.18 kg/m2
built environment can constrain or facilitate physical activity.         compared to non-LRT users in the same area over a 12-18 month
Understanding ways to encourage greater use of local                     follow-up period. This is equivalent to a relative weight loss of
environments for physical activity offers some hope for reducing         6.45 lbs for a person who is 5’5. LRT users were also 81% less likely
the growth in the prevalence of obesity,” commented lead                 to become obese over time.
investigator John M. MacDonald, PhD, University of Pennsylvania.
                                                                         Survey questions assessed level of physical activity, BMI,
“Given that perceptions of neighborhood environments are                 perception of the neighborhood environment, public transit use
independently associated with improved health outcomes,                  before and after LRT construction, any plans to use LRT when
and that individuals who choose to use LRT obtain some                   available, and actual LRT usage.
relative weight reduction, it would be prudent to encourage
public policies that improve the safety and attractiveness of            There are currently 32 LRT systems operating in major U.S.
pedestrian environments that link home, work and transit stops           metropolitan areas, generating over 200 million passenger trips
to increase use of public transit for commuting to work. Public          a year.
policy investments in transit should consider potential increases




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C. URBAN DESIGN

           CAN THE SUBURBAN FRINGE BE DOWNTOWN ADJACENT?
                                                             By Michael Scott
For many suburban Americans, the thought of migrating to a              that’s been a challenge. Despite steady buyer interest, our
center-city environment holds an intriguing appeal, fueled by           3100-square-foot house is still on the market. Suburban critics,
urbanists who tout the benefits of stunning cityscape views,            like Urban Land Institute-fellow Christopher Leinberger, would
walkability, proximity to civic and cultural amenities, and street      likely cite a potential cause as being declining interest in what
vibrancy. I happen to be among those suburbanites who                   are affectionately known as McMansions, those big cumbersome
have harbored a secret fantasy of living in a dense downtown            houses replete with big lawns, big mortgages, and big utility
environment, replete with throngs of creative millennials               bills. Demographic trends also show a steady rise in the number
roaming the streets, fancy coffee houses, and close access to fine      of adults without children, who are presumably less likely to
dining. My decision to move                                                                                    purchase a big house. And,
from suburban Sacramento                                                                                       as a real estate professional
to Denver has been the                                                                                         pointed out to us, people
result.                                                                                                        are holding out for a windfall
                                                                                                               deal these days amid the
The urban/suburban                                                                                             abundance of foreclosures in
residential conundrum has                                                                                      the Sacramento metro area.
generated epic debates
that match the joys of city                                                                                    Finding a family home in
living against the benefits                                                                                    Denver has been even
of suburbia. Terms such as                                                                                     more interesting. While the
“sprawl,” “drivable urbanism,”                                                                                 downtown Lo-Do District
and the “slumming of                                                                                           has great appeal to us
suburbia” appear in the news                                                                                   because of its vibrancy, civic
regularly, often in an attempt                                                                                 amenities, and proximity
to sway the pendulum in                                                                                        to Coors Field (Rockies
favor of dense city living.                                                                                    Baseball), Invesco Field
                                                                                                               (Broncos Football) and
The tsunami of hoopla                                                                                          the Pepsi Center (Nuggets
around “urban livability” has                                                                                  Basketball and Avalanche
been of growing interest                                                                                       Hockey), it simply doesn’t
to my family and me as                                                                                         strike my wife and me as the
we prepare to relocate to                                                                                      ideal environment for raising
Denver. I’ve come to believe                                                                                   our seven-year-old daughter.
the accuracy of the assertion,                                                                                 The questionable schools in
often voiced on this site,                                                                                     the city-center core were the
that America’s interest in                                                                                     deal breaker, and the catalyst
suburbia has not abated.                                                                                       for our decision to explore
It has become abundantly                                                                                       quasi- suburban areas on the
clear from the brisk interest                                                                                  fringe of downtown.
of potential buyers of our
current Folsom, California                                                                                  As is the case with many
residence, that living in                                                                                   downtowns across the
a suburban locale still                                                                                     country, real estate values
holds a special appeal. The                                                                                 in central-city Denver have
environmentalist clamor aside, what people really want from a           taken a severe beating. With tepid demand, large inventories of
community is amenities that appeal to their specific interests.         condos have sat vacant for months, leading some developers to
Folsom, a city of 72,000 nestled on the outskirts of Sacramento,        convert them into rentals.
offers myriad advantages for leisure - such as boating and biking
- to basic requirements like low crime rates and quality schools.       After several exploratory trips and careful consideration of
                                                                        our options, particularly since our house in California is still
For us, the move to Denver is a transition from suburbia                on the market, we elected to rent in a neighborhood called

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Cheeseman Park. An eclectic, diverse enclave just on the outskirts      downtown housing projects have failed, in part due to tepid
of downtown, the area offers the hybrid urban/suburban                  residential demand.
environment that we were seeking. It also has a top-notch
elementary school for our daughter.                                     In the end, urban living has its benefits, although decisions to
                                                                        reside in a denser environment should be sprinkled with a dose
Our choice of location within the Denver area seems to support          of pragmatism. The large population is one factor that maintains
a national trend that was much discussed at the recent Urban            Denver’s robust spectator sports scene, which is a huge draw
Land Institute Summit/ Spring Council Forum in Boston; namely,          for me personally. And, like many bigger cities, it also offers a
that the vast majority of population growth in U.S. urban regions       wider selection of social and cultural activities than that of the
will occur not in downtown cores, but in suburbs, and of those,         Sacramento region. While urban housing has captured the
most notably the close-in suburbs exuding an urban feel.                imagination of many Americans, downtowns may be best suited
                                                                        for the role of civic and cultural centers – places that people
This is something that leaders in our current home region of            come to visit, rather than where they reside.
Sacramento failed to grasp recently. The City Council made the
decision to pursue a mixed-use project with 256 housing units           Photo by Michael Scott of a “suburban” neighborhood in Denver.
in the downtown core, over a more ambitious proposal outside
of downtown featuring a complex with live music, a year-                Michael P. Scott is a Northern California urban journalist,
round farmer’s market, and a venue showcasing California’s rich         demographic researcher and technical writer. He can be reached
agricultural history. The choice seems ill-advised, since previous      at michael@vdowntownamerica.com.




                             A STRATEGY SESSION FOR LOS ANGELES
                                                              By Josh Stephens
If you are at all involved with urban planning in Los Angeles           from architects to developers to journalists to former members of
you were probably either in the audience or on the panel at last        the Planning Department staff. They amounted to an unusually
night’s “The Future of the Los Angeles City Planning Department         candid bunch, whose expertise centers not necessarily on
(and the City of Los Angeles)” event, sponsored by AIA, APA-L.A.,       planning per se, but rather on that unquiet beast known as
ULI, and Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design.             planning in Los Angeles. 
I suppose a third option is that you were stuck in traffic and
couldn’t make it.                                                       If no other lesson emerged -- for LoGrande or anyone else who
                                                                        would dare imagine what the city should and could look like
Those of us in the room at Southwestern Law School in                   -- it is that Los Angeles is sui generis, in its form, geography,
Koreatown were treated to perhaps the most far-ranging, sincere,        demographics, history, and politics. Jane Blumenfeld -- the
and sometimes entertaining discussion about planning in Los             recently retired consigliere to Lo Grande’s predecessor, Gail
Angeles in recent memory. It was, to an extent, a master class for      Goldberg -- said it most bluntly by calling it “the most politicized
new Planning Director Michael LoGrande, who attended fresh              planning land use development city in the world.” 
off his confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council. The event
was organized before Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa nominated               The discussion did little to contradict that stereotype. It’s an
LoGrande, and his attendance was not promised. But how could            amazing thing when a dozen experts get together and generally
he not attend, and how could he not share a few words, given            agree on goals: We want Los Angeles to be more pleasant
that the entire two hours was dedicated to the equal measures           (i.e. pedestrian-oriented); we want to preserve distinctive
hope and desperation that surround the years to come at the             neighborhoods and respect community members’ wishes; we
L.A. Department of City Planning?                                       want to take advantage of new and existing transit projects and
                                                                        we love the 30/10 plan; we want to provide more housing. To a
By the looks of things, LoGrande has not exactly picked a cushy         lesser extent, we want to reach out to under-served communities
job for himself. His own brief introductory remarks, while replete      and we want to stoke the city’s economy.  Restoring the L.A. River
with the requisite visionary rhetoric, focused on the department’s      would be a fabulous thing to do.  All well and good.  
financial challenges and his eagerness to partner with outside
firms and organizations to help craft the city’s plans.                 (Notably absent, however, was so much as a whisper of rhetoric
                                                                        about sustainability. I have two theories on this: The first is
Moderated by Planning Commissioner Michael Woo, the                     that everyone has grown weary in the process of hoping for,
10-member panel represented some of the region’s most astute            and not achieving, a mythical “green future” -- especially in this
practitioners and observers of planning in Los Angeles, ranging         economy.  The second, more hopeful theory is that sustainability

36
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has become implicit, especially to the extent that, thanks to         in a city in which private property interests have very strong
legislation like SB 375, it has become synonymous with density.       influence over what goes on….and where NIMBYism was not
Indeed, now that L.A. is built out and that the transit system        exactly born in Los Angeles but certainly moved here at an early
keeps growing, it’s arguable that almost every new development        age.”
will be sustainable by some measure.)  
                                                                      Jane Blumenfeld, former Acting Deputy Director, L.A. City
How, though, to achieve those goals?                                  Planning
                                                                      “If you revise the community plans, a lot of casework is
Suggestions ranged from “enjoy the recession” as a time to think      eliminated.  We need to get rid of that so that the people who
and plan to “Metro should take all the land surrounding transit       are there…can function efficiently and effectively without having
stops by eminent domain.” Some encouraged LoGrande to align           everybody be forced to do casework. Know what is expected in
himself with Mayor Villaraigosa’s vision (whatever that may be;       a neighborhood, you won’t need to review the color of paint and
“elegant density” is still being batted around five years after the   roofs.  There’s a lot of work involved, and it’s needless and stupid
mayor first picked it as his slogan) while others were already        in a lot of ways.  They won’t have those project-by-project fights.”  
talking about the next mayor and arguing whether the city
charter even made the mayor relevant. Almost everyone agreed          Bill Boyarsky, former L.A. Times City Editor
that having to serve 15 councilmembers, plus a mayor, is no way       “The biggest obstacle to moderate-priced housing are the land
to plan a city. Baron Haussmann and Robert Moses would surely         developers, property owners, Central City Association, and the
concur.                                                               building trade unions. They control planning in LA. I wrote many
                                                                      stories about neighborhoods where Moderate-priced apartment
If there was a single point of consensus about how to move            buildings were torn down for more expensive condos...the only
forward with high-quality development, it was articulated most        thing that saved these people was the recession. When this
clearly by Forest City Sr. Vice President Renata Simril: “For me      recession ends, you’re going to have to go back. The mayor is
as a developer, the notion of by-right speaks volumes to my           going to have to take a chance.”
ears. Time is money. I’m more apt to be able to built a project
that yields that (desired) result because there’s clarity, there’s    Vaughn Davies, Director of Urban Design, AECOM
certainty in that plan. And, by the way, I know I’m not going to      “The rulebook is there to protect and safeguard us from poor
get challenge by the community because the community has              development. It doesn’t really promote great development.  Sets
bought into that specific plan.”                                      a minimum standard.  All the great places we travel to in the
                                                                      world are illegal to build in Los Angeles.  The more opportunities
Bill Fulton followed up that assertion, saying: “You prove to         to create traffic and chaos in this city.  Sidewalks and the public
(councilmembers) that by doing a planning process that results        realm. Make the pedestrian the priority. We need to move swiftly
in a consensus that people can buy into that developers will          and we need to be as nimble as possible.  We can’t wait for
have more clarity…and a roadmap. If you can prove to the              Planning to unveil some big vision for the city.”
politicians that there’s some kind of a plan in place that makes
it easier for developers to get to the end and built stuff that the   Bill Fulton, Mayor of Ventura; CP&DR Publisher
neighborhood wants, that’s how you prove to councilmembers            “Duking it our at the community level is better than duking it out
that good planning is good policy.”                                   at the project level. But given the history of LA, nobody believes
                                                                      that. They all think they can duke it out at the project level and
In other words, Los Angeles needs good plans and public officials     get a better deal.” 
who will enforce those plans. Beyond that, the panel offered
LoGrande an abstracted, highly intellectualized version of what       Emily Gabel-Luddy, Past Director, L.A. City Planning Urban
he will experience in L.A.’s neighborhoods and halls of power:        Design Studio
passionate, articulate, and often contradictory sentiments. Some      “NIMBYs play an essential role in the public discussion because
highlights from each speaker include the following:                   they raise things that would otherwise not be raised. People
                                                                                                      have insights into the local area
Planning Commissioner Michael                                                                         that none of the planners have
Woo (moderator):                                                                                      because they do not live there.” 
“The City Planning Department
and the planning director operate                                                                     Christopher Hawthorne, L.A.
in a political culture in which it                                                                    Times Architecture Critic
is more customary than in other                                                                       “There’s no city even close
cities for elected officials to                                                                       to its size that faces so many
intervene in the planning process.                                                                    fundamental questions about
Also, the Planing Deparmtment                                                                         what it’s going to be in the
and planning director operate                                                                         coming decades.”

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“It’s a question of whether development is going to                    And who wasn’t there? The other four million residents of Los
guide planning or whether planning is going to guide                   Angeles.
development.  There are a lot of vested interests who really
like things the way they are and that they like piece-by-piece         I don’t say that to be flippant, but I do mean that for this
planning and duking it out. I think if we can agree that’s as an       discussion to matter, it must, by necessity, reach the people who
ideal to have planning guide development, then the tricky              have not yet heard it. Millions of people in Los Angeles don’t
question is politically how do we get there?”                          know what planning is, much less what “do real planning” means.
                                                                       Many haven’t considered the pleasures (or not) of density and
John Kaliski, Principal, Urban Studio-L.A.; P                          walkability, or if they have, they don’t believe that L.A. could
ast President, AIA/LA                                                  ever be a dense, walkable city. Many would not feel comfortable
“The divide seems to be between those who believe these                attending an event (even one free of charge) under crystal
conversations are useful and those who believe they’re                 chandeliers in a restored Art Deco palace.
useless.  Neighborhood council process that’s advisory.  That’s a
huge cultural shift in the city that hasn’t been recognized yet for    I don’t say that to be flippant, but I do mean that for this
all that it could be.”                                                 discussion to matter, it must, by necessity, reach the people
                                                                       who have not yet heard it. Millions of people in Los Angeles
Renata Simril, Sr. Vice President, Forest City                         don’t know what planning is, much less what «do real planning»
“As we continue to move forward, I think the future is going to        means. Many haven›t considered the pleasures (or not) of density
be bright as it relates to TOD. Coupled w/ the 30/10 plan and the      and walkability, or if they have, they don›t believe that L.A. could
effort to focus on key TOD projects throughout the city.               ever be a dense, walkable city. Many would not feel comfortable
                                                                       attending an event (even one free of charge) under crystal
“(There’s a) battle between density and preserving the single-         chandeliers in a restored Art Deco palace.  
family house. If we can agree where density occurs, it’s not an
either/or.  Focusing on TOD gives you not an ‘or’ but an ‘and.’”       As the discussion went on, I kept thinking about all the cars,
                                                                       buses, cyclists and pedestrians passing outside (and about the
Martha Welborne, Executive Director of Countywide Planning,            straphangers passing beneath) the Southwestern Law’s Bullocks
Los Angeles Metro                                                      Wilshire Building in the twilight.  And I wondered if any of them
“We’ve known for some time that we really cannot build our way         had any idea that, in some small way, the future of their city was
out of the transportation problem.  If you want to solve mobility      being discussed – or if they even knew that the future of the city
issues, a link of land use and transit planning is critical. The MTA   was up for discussion at all. 
controls no land use planning; we just do the transit side. An
increased  dialog among the 88 cities in the county and the MTA,       If it’s true that the recession will, as Renta Simril said, give
is critical if we want to build our way out of the problem.”           LoGrande and other L.A. planners some unintended leisure time,
                                                                       then more meetings like this have to take place, both with official
Elva Yanez, Coordinator, L.A. Collaborative for Environmental          department sanction and though the efforts of APA, AIA, ULI, and
Health Policy and Justice                                              the like. And they should take place throughout the city in front
“It’s not just the responsibility of the city to create those          of mixed audiences, so that residents of different communities
mechanisms. There is no intermediary in the city of LA that’s          can mix and undo some of the atomization that clearly fascinates
funded by foundation funds to educate people about planning            and troubles Christopher Hawthorne and others. 
and do advocacy in an appropriate and constructive manner. We
don’t need developer front groups muddying the water.”                 Los Angeles embodies Jeffersonian democracy at its most
                                                                       absurd, with detached, diverse residents believing that they
So that’s some of what the panel said. Perhaps the more salient        can control their own fiefdoms – however small – or resigning
question, though, is who heard it?                                     themselves to having no power whatsoever. And yet, from the
                                                                       city’s architecture to its physical environment, Los Angeles strives
The “Louis XVI Room” (not kidding) at Southwestern Law School          for greatness even while acknowledging its own shortcomings.
was filled to capacity with acolytes, employees, and even peers        Last night’s event proved, as ever, that nowhere else do ambition
of the folks on the panel. It was like old home week for the           and ambivalence coexist with such intensity. — Josh Stephens
cognoscenti. But there is a difference between knowing about
planning and having an interest in planning.




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D. Healthy Community Design

 URBAN FARMING FOR CASH GAINS A TOEHOLD IN SAN FRANCISCO
                                                               By Zusha Elinson
Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway are a common sight on                 quiet residential block in the outer Mission — is now mostly
the streets of the Mission district – covered in dirt and carrying       quiet and overgrown with weeds and without much sign of the
baskets of salad mix from their backyard farm to Bar Tartine, a          lettuce, kale, arugula, purslane, lemon balm and other greens for
stylish upscale restaurant.                                              which the women are known.

                                                                         The problem is the legality of selling vegetables grown in San
                                                                         Francisco without a special permit, an expensive and time-
                                                                         consuming requirement for a small, low-profit business.

                                                                         Even as the hype around urban agriculture and the local-food
                                                                         movement has exploded, laws governing land use are still stuck
                                                                         in another era, one that frowned on farming in the city, especially
                                                                         in residential areas, experts in urban planning say.

                                                                         “There was an effort to zone agriculture out; it wasn’t seen as the
                                                                         highest and best use of the land,” said Jennifer Wolch, dean of the
                                                                         College of Environmental Design at the University of California,
                                                                         Berkeley. “Culturally, there was a shift in the postwar period
                                                                         where it was unacceptable.”

Credit: Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen                              A changing attitude and new ventures like Little City Gardens are
                                                                         now prompting city planners to consider revising zoning laws.
Caitlyn Galloway weeding a test plot on Wednesday at the urban
farm in the Outer Mission that she leases with her partner, Brooke       San Francisco is set to roll out significant changes this fall,
Budner.                                                                  following cities like Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., and Seattle. The new
                                                                         rules would let city farmers sell their produce without the old
                                                                         roadblocks and enshrine 21st-century urban agriculture in the
                                                                         books.

                                                                         AnMarie Rodgers, a San Francisco city planner and the daughter
                                                                         of an Iowa pig farmer, is circulating a draft zoning change —
                                                                         one that has not been made public — that she hopes will be
                                                                         introduced in mid-September. It has the support of Mayor Gavin
                                                                         Newsom, who last year ordered the city to increase healthy and
                                                                         sustainable food.

                                                                         “There are beginning to be relatively small-scale gardening
                                                                         operations that are running up against the constraints of the
                                                                         current code,” Ms. Rodgers wrote in a recent memo to city
                                                                         officials. “This is an issue that cities around the country are
                                                                         grappling with, and many big cities are revising or considering
Credit: Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen
                                                                         revising their zoning codes to support at least small-scale urban
                                                                         agriculture.”
Wild blackberries grow on the property.
                                                                         San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are full of gardens in
“We’re fairly scrappy ladies and often pretty dirty,” said Ms.           backyards and schoolyards and on rooftops and vacant lots.
Galloway, 29, a part-time sign painter who founded Little City           From the chef Alice Waters’s famed edible schoolyard at Martin
Gardens with Ms. Budner, 29, last year.                                  Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Berkeley to City Slicker
                                                                         Farms and the People’s Grocery, which are trying to bring fresh
But their new piece of land — three-quarters of an acre on a             produce to West Oakland, the Bay Area’s innovative horticultural

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endeavors are widely known.                                            Now in draft form, the changes in San Francisco would allow
                                                                       backyard gardeners to sell their produce to their neighbors any
But when vegetables are exchanged for cash, it’s a different story.    way they liked.

Sophie Hahn, a Berkeley community activist and stay-at-home            Market gardens like Little City Gardens would also be permitted
mother, is growing enough vegetables for six families in her           in all areas of the city, whether in a residential or industrial area,
backyard. Wanting to recoup some of her investment from                if they were less than an acre. Operations of more than an acre
neighbors to whom she has been giving the vegetables, Ms.              would be allowed in areas zoned for industrial use. The new
Hahn looked into getting the right paperwork from the city.            permit would cost a bit over $300.
She found that obtaining a permit for home businesses like
teaching piano, tutoring and even growing medical marijuana            There are two primary conditions, Ms. Rodgers said: No
was easy, without public hearings or great expense. A backyard         marijuana, and farms must abide by certain rules, like locating
“community supported agriculture” venture was a different story.       compost away from neighbors and limiting use of heavy
                                                                       machinery. Pesticides and herbicides permitted by the federal
“It’s actually easier in Berkeley to have a pot collective than to     government would be allowed.
have a vegetable collective,” said Ms. Hahn, a former candidate
for City Council who is putting together a legislative solution she    Ms. Rodgers said the trigger for a more extensive permitting
plans to take to the Council.                                          process would now be the farm’s impact on the neighborhood,
                                                                       rather than just the sale of vegetables.
For now, Ms. Hahn gives away the beets, basil, beans and
everything else that grows in her North Berkeley yard.                 The proposal and the push for it are not without critics. Some
                                                                       are wary of overregulation. Others do not think that clearing the
Little City Gardens started out small, with 2,500 square feet of       way for urban farming as a business in San Francisco — with its
donated land near 18th and Guerrero Streets. But Ms. Budner, a         high land prices and slivers of vacant land — will benefit anyone
part-time illustrator, and Ms. Galloway decided they wanted to         except food enthusiasts with money to burn at fancy restaurants.
make an experiment of their venture: Could they — or anyone
for that matter — actually make a living as urban farmers?             “Any public investment, even in changing the zoning code,
                                                                       has to be mindful of public benefit,” said Mary Beth Pudup, a
“In the last couple of years, there’s been huge jazz around urban      professor of community studies at the University of California,
agriculture,” Ms. Galloway said this week. “ A lot of projects         Santa Cruz. “A lot of the urban-food movement can kind of skew
seem symbolic or temporary, and I’m excited about celebrating          to the high end.”
those, but we wanted to do something that makes farming a
permanent part of the city.”                                           Not-for-profit-farmers are watching with great interest.

They found the larger plot, a vacant lot covered with weeds            “In the Bay Area, I am really interested to see if people can make
behind a chain-link fence, and signed a lease this spring for a        a profit because land is so valuable and how much can you really
year and a half. They raised $20,394 for their startup costs on        produce,” said Barbara Finnin, executive director at City Slicker
the website Kickstarter, which calls itself a financing platform for   Farm, a nonprofit in West Oakland.
ideas and endeavors.
                                                                       Meanwhile, Ms. Budner and Ms. Galloway have cleared part of
They got an informal go-ahead from the San Francisco Planning          their parcel, built a greenhouse, even tilled a small section and
Department, but a complaint from a neighbor in May brought             hauled in horse manure. But with the changes in the zoning
scrutiny. The verdict was that Little City Gardens must get a          code working their way through the system, they have yet to
conditional-use permit, which can cost up to $3,000 and take           plant much. They did put in a short row of sunflowers near the
three to five months to complete, if they wanted to sell their         entrance of the property, just behind a chain-link fence, which
produce.                                                               they water with their water bottles. The flowers are now about
                                                                       knee high.
Ms. Galloway and Ms. Budner saw that decision as a barrier to
entry for farmers on small budgets and smaller plots. So instead       Ms. Galloway said they had wanted to plant at least something
of paying, they decided to fight. Citing Mayor Newsom’s edict for      while they waited.
more healthy food in the city, they sought a change in the law.
                                                                       “We planted the sunflowers out of desperation,” she said.
Ms. Rodgers, the city planner, agreed. “What we found,” she said,
“is the requirement for a conditional-use permit is a bit of a
barrier.”


40
VISION                                                                                                                      August 2010



                              URBAN POOR MOST VULNERABLE TO
                             EXTREME HEAT, SAYS RESEARCH STUDY
Urban poor are the most vulnerable to extreme heat, while the            “Our research is integrating data with sophisticated modeling
higher income people tend to live in areas that are cooler, reveals      tools to analyze urban systems while keeping health equity
a research study.                                                        considerations and the well-being of vulnerable populations
                                                                         at the center of attention. We want our research to be used to
The study jointly conducted by the National Aeronautics                  promote better decision-making about climate adaptation in
and Space Administration                                                                                 cities,” said Harlan.
(NASA)’s Johnson Space Center,
Arizona State University and                                                                             The research team is compiling a
the University of California                                                                             history of the development of the
at Riverside evaluated                                                                                   metro Phoenix urban heat island,
the relationship between                                                                                 with a $1.4 million grant from the
temperature variations and                                                                               National Science Foundation, as
socioeconomic variables across                                                                           part of its project on Dynamics
metropolitan Phoenix.                                                                                    of Coupled Natural and Human
                                                                                                         Systems.
The primary objective of
the research is to study high                                                                            Urban heat islands evolve
heat wave events, especially                                                                             when soil and grass is replaced
unexpected long-duration heat                                                                            with heat-generating materials
waves. Many cities including                                                                             such as asphalt and concrete
Chicago, Phoenix and Paris have                                                                          which absorb heat in the day
encountered high heat waves                                                                              and reradiate it at night thus
over the past several years.                                                                             causing increased temperatures
                                                                                                         especially during night time, the
 “The problem of heat-related                                                                            researchers say.
deaths and illnesses is very
serious. Each year, heat fatalities                                                                      According to several global
in the U.S. occur in greater                                                                             climate change models, the
numbers than mortality from any                                                                          southwestern United States is
other type of weather disaster.                                                                          predicted to experience higher
Global climate changes and                                                                               temperatures and more droughts
rapidly growing cities are likely                                                                        over the coming century. If that
to compound and intensify the                                                                            happens, Phoenix is expected
adverse health effects of heat                                                                           to experience more heat wave
islands around the world,” said                                                                          events, the researchers say.
Sharon Harlan, a sociologist in the
School of Human Evolution and                                                                             “We are trying to develop tools
Social Change at Arizona State                                                                            that city planners and emergency
University.                                                                                               responders can use. Urban
                                                                      Photo courtesy of photofinish2009
                                                                                                          planners also can use this data so
The urban poor tend to live in the                                                                        that they can help plan the city’s
urban core of metro                                                      growth and perhaps replace materials that absorb heat with
Phoenix where the heat island effect is intense. These                   those that are more reflective. By studying Phoenix, researchers
neighborhoods are located near industrial areas, commercial              can better understand what these developing cities may face
centers, and transportation corridors, with few amenities like           and how their environments may change as populations expand,”
parks and greenery.                                                      explains William Stefanov, senior geoscientist in Johnson Space
                                                                         Center.
According to the researchers, the higher income people tend to
live in cooler areas with more vegetation, such as lush lawns and        Reprinted from International Business Times
canopy trees, which surrounds homes or on hillslopes above the
hotter Salt River valley floor.


41
VISION                                                                                                                     August 2010



                              NASA ASSETS PROVIDE ORBITAL VIEW
                                TO STUDY PHOENIX HEAT WAVES
Multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis of Landsat
Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus data is being used to obtain            Propelled by a $1.4 million grant from the National Science
historical per-pixel abundances of soil/pervious surface (red),       Foundation as part of its Dynamics of Coupled Natural and
vegetation (green)                                                                                                 Human Systems
and impervious                                                                                                     Program, the
surface (blue) land                                                                                                research team is
cover endmembers                                                                                                   compiling a history
for the Phoenix                                                                                                    of the development
metropolitan area.                                                                                                 of the metro
This example uses                                                                                                  Phoenix urban heat
data acquired July                                                                                                 island. Urban heat
24, 2000. Black                                                                                                    islands result when
pixels indicate                                                                                                    existing soil and
areas for which                                                                                                    grass is replaced
endmembers were                                                                                                    with materials
not modeled. Land                                                                                                  such as asphalt
cover endmember                                                                                                    and concrete
abundances                                                                                                         that absorb heat
provide the ability                                                                                                during the day
to “fine tune” urban                                                                                               and reradiate
climate models,                                                                                                    it at night, thus
which in turn are                                                                                                  causing increased
used to understand                                                                                                 temperatures
the historical                                                                                                     especially during
development of                                                                                                     nighttime.
the Phoenix urban
heat island and to                                                                                                  Sharon Harlan, a
build predictive and                                                                                                sociologist in the
spatially discrete                                                                                                  School of Human
models of risk from extreme heat events across the urban area.        Evolution and Social Change at ASU, has pulled together the
Image credit: NASA                                                    interdisciplinary team, which is comprised of social and natural
                                                                      scientists, public health experts, and educators.
Where you live may say a lot about your socioeconomic status.
It also may suggest how vulnerable you are to long periods of         Harlan is excited about the potential for this pioneering research.
excessively hot weather.
                                                                      “The problem of heat-related deaths and illnesses is very serious,”
Researchers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Arizona State             said Harlan. “Each year, heat fatalities in the U.S. occur in greater
University and the University of California at Riverside are          numbers than mortality from any other type of weather disaster.
studying the relationship between temperature variations and          Global climate changes and rapidly growing cities are likely
socioeconomic variables across metropolitan Phoenix. They have        to compound and intensify the adverse health effects of heat
found that the urban poor are the most vulnerable to extreme          islands around the world. Our research is integrating data with
heat.                                                                 sophisticated modeling tools to analyze urban systems while
                                                                      keeping health equity considerations and the well-being of
Those in higher incomes tend to live in areas that are cooler         vulnerable populations at the center of attention. We want our
due to the increased amount of vegetation, such as lush lawns         research to be used to promote better decision-making about
and canopy trees, that surrounds homes or on higher-elevation         climate adaptation in cities.”
hillslopes above the hotter Salt River valley floor. The urban poor
tend to live in the urban core of metro Phoenix where the heat        The primary objective of the research is to study high heat wave
island effect is intense. These neighborhoods are located near        events—unexpected long-duration heat waves. Many cities
industrial areas, commercial centers, and transportation corridors.   including Chicago, Phoenix and Paris have encountered these
There are few amenities, such as parks, and the landscaping has       events over the past several years.
little or no grass or trees.

42
VISION                                                                                                                        August 2010


Data from numerous sources, including remotely sensed imagery            predicted to experience higher temperatures and more droughts
from NASA, are being used to create an historical record of how          over the coming century. If that happens, Phoenix is expected to
temperatures and vegetation patterns changed across metro                experience more heat wave events.
Phoenix from the early 1970s to 2000. William Stefanov, senior
geoscientist with Jacobs Technology in JSC’s Astromaterials              The remotely sensed data are fed into high-resolution urban
Research and Exploration Science Directorate, is providing the           climate models to build predictive simulations of what will
orbital view of the metropolitan area.                                   happen to the Phoenix metropolitan area if predicted climate
                                                                         change occurs there. Maps of “riskscapes” produced by this
The remotely sensed information is collected from satellites or          project will show where people in Phoenix are most vulnerable
airplanes and includes vegetation, temperature and land cover.           to high heat events.
Together it provides a map of the urban and suburban surface at          “This project has theoretical aspects, but it also has an applied
a moment in time. In addition, researchers will use the data to do       focus,” said Stefanov. “We are trying to develop tools that city
what is called change detection analysis. Images from one year           planners and emergency responders can use. Urban planners
or one season can be compared with those from another. The               also can use this data so that they can help plan the city’s growth
changes, such as those in vegetation, can be highlighted.                and perhaps replace materials that absorb heat with those that
                                                                         are more reflective.”
“We’re using a series of Landsat data for historical vegetation
and surface temperature, high-resolution airborne imagery to             “A lot of urban development is taking place around the world
get detailed maps of the land cover in our study neighborhoods           in arid or semiarid climates,” said Stefanov. “By studying Phoenix,
and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection              researchers can better understand what these developing
Radiometer, or ASTER, a Japanese sensor on board the NASA                cities may face and how their environments may change as
Terra satellite, for current surface temperature data,” said Stefanov.   populations expand.”

An airborne data flight over Phoenix by the NASA MODIS/                  For more information on the project, visit http://shesc.asu.edu/
ASTER Simulator, or MASTER, sensor is planned for next year              node/552
to coincide with a ground data
collection campaign. Among                                                                               (Data provided by the United
other biophysical information,                                                                           States Geological Survey EROS
high-resolution measurements of                                                                          Data Center, Sioux Falls, S.D. This
ground surface temperature will                                                                          material is based upon work
be obtained from the MASTER                                                                              supported by the National Science
data throughout the metropolitan                                                                         Foundation (NSF) under Grant No.
area to compare with and validate                                                                        GEO-0816168, “Urban Vulnerability
other airborne and satellite data                                                                        to Climate Change.” Any opinions,
sets used in the project.                                                                                findings and conclusions or
                                                                                                         recommendations expressed in this
According to several global                                                                              material are those of the author(s)
climate change models, the                                                                               and do not necessarily reflect the
southwestern United States is                                                                            views of the NSF.)




43
VISION                                                                                                August 2010



                                                                     Division Leadership
                                                              Chair
                                                              Elizabeth Tyler, FAICP
                                                              City of Urbana Community Development
                                                              400 S Vine St
                                                              Urbana, IL 61801-3336
                                                              (P)(217) 384-2439
                                                              (F)(217) 384-0200
                                                              ehtyler@city.urbana.il.us

                                                               Past Chair
                                                               Pattsi Petrie, AICP
                                                               University of Illinois
                                                               611 Taft Drive, 111 Buell Hall,
                                                               Champaign, IL 61820
                                                               (P)(217) 244-7424
     One of the earliest divisions of the American Plan-       (F)(217) 244-1717
     ning Association, the Planning and Women Division         pattsi@uiuc.edu
     was formed in 1979 as a platform from which to
     transmit ideas and career concerns of particular in-     Vice Chair
     terest to women and to the general membership of         Vicki Taylor Lee, AICP
     the American Planning Association. Among the pur-        Cherokee County Georgia
     poses of the Division are the following:                 1130 Bluffs Parkway
          • Address issues facing the planning and            Canton, GA 30114-2703
          development of communities, cities, re-             (P)(678) 493-6105
          gions, states, and the nation related to the        (F)(678) 493-6111
          changing roles of women and men as a                vtaylor@cherokeega.com
          means of promoting social equity;
                                                              Secretary
          • Create a national network of planners,
          decision makers and persons actively
                                                              Kathleen W. Pagan, AICP
          involved in organizations which are con-            Alachua County Dept Growth Management
          cerned about similar issues;                        10 SW 2nd Ave Fl 3
                                                              Gainesville, FL 32601-6230
          • Promote professional growth of women              (P)(352) 374-5249
          in planning and advocate for equitable              (F)(352) 381-0124
          treatment and advancement of female                 kpagan@alachuacounty.us
          planners at all stages of their careers;

          • Recognize and celebrate the accomplish-           Treasurer
          ments of women in planning;                         Ramona Mattix, AICP
                                                              Regional District of Central Kootenay
          • Advance technical knowledge and im-
          prove techniques of dealing with the is-            202 Lakeside Drive
          sues of women and planning; and                     Box 590
                                                              Nelson, BC V1L 5R4
          • Promote the analysis and examination              (P)(250) 352-6665
          of the issues of women and planning at              (F)(250) 352-9300
          every level of government and in colleges           rmattix@rdck.bc.ca
          and universities.

     We welcome your participation with over 150 other        Newsletter Editor
     members in activities pertaining to women in the         Shannon Malik, AICP
     profession and the role of women in society as it        Village of Westmont
     pertains to planning. On our website                     31 W Quincy St
     (www.planning.org/divisions/planningandwomen)            Westmont, IL 60559-1865
     you will find information about our division’s activi-   (P)(630) 981-6264
     ties and services. Please feel free to contact any of    (F)(630) 968-8610
     the division leaders with your suggestions and in-
                                                              smalik@westmont.il.gov
     quiries.


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