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7 Ways to Ensure Food Security in Our Community

July 22, 2014 2 Comments 5

The other day I received a newsletter from the Association of Arizona Food Banks. The statistics listed rattled me—a reminder that it is good to use the tiny bit of soap box power I have to discuss this increasingly serious social issue. One in five Arizona adults is hungry, and the rate is even higher for kids—one in four. In other words, they do not know where their next meal will come from. This means some 1.17 million people in our state are living meal-to-meal. Seniors. Babies. The working poor. That’s a lot of folks, and it is easy to be overwhelmed. A few simple ways you can help with food security in your community— regardless of where you live: 1. Find a local food bank and volunteer. Do what they need most. Maybe it is marketing, or sorting shelves. Maybe you are a great writer and can help with grants. 2. When you grocery shop, make a habit of buying an extra jar of peanut butter and can of tuna. These are inexpensive staples that are always in need. 3. See if your state hunger association has a tax credit program. In Arizona, you can donate up to $400 to AAFB and get the full amount back toward your state taxes. So, you give $400 to them and the state essentially matches it. Win/win. 4. Plant a garden. Find a place to donate a bit of your harvest. Produce is a luxury for families used to eating out of food boxes. 5. Consider keeping staples in your car to distribute, in lieu of money for homeless folks. These bags may include a bottle of water and a granola bar. 6. When you go out to eat, box up half of your meal for the guy sitting on the corner. Or—take it home and don’t be wasteful. Only...

The other day I received a newsletter from the Association of Arizona Food Banks. The statistics listed rattled me—a reminder that it is good to use the tiny bit of soap box power I have to discuss this increasingly serious social issue. One in five Arizona adults is hungry, and the rate is even higher for kids—one in four. In other words, they do not know where their next meal will come from. This means some 1.17 million people in our state are living meal-to-meal. Seniors. Babies. The working poor. That’s a lot of folks, and it is easy to be overwhelmed. A few simple ways you can help with food security in your community— regardless of where you live: 1. Find a local food bank and volunteer. Do what they need most. Maybe it is marketing, or sorting shelves. Maybe you are a great writer and can help with grants. 2. When you grocery shop, make a habit of buying an extra jar of peanut butter and can of tuna. These are inexpensive staples that are always in need. 3. See if your state hunger association has a tax credit program. In Arizona, you can donate up to $400 to AAFB and get the...

The other day I received a newsletter from the Association of Arizona Food Banks. The statistics listed rattled me—a reminder that it is good to use the tiny bit of soap box power I have to discuss this increasingly serious social issue. One in five Arizona adults is hungry, and the rate is even higher for kids—one in four. In other words, they do not know where their next meal will come from. This means some 1.17 million people in our state are living meal-to-meal. Seniors. Babies. The working poor. That’s a lot of folks, and it is easy to be overwhelmed....

The other day I received a newsletter from the Association of Arizona Food Banks. The statistics listed rattled me—a reminder that it is good to use the tiny bit of soap box power I have to discuss this increasingly serious social issue. One in five Arizona adults is hungry, and the...

The other day I received a newsletter from the Association of Arizona Food Banks. The statistics listed rattled me—a reminder that it is good to...

The other day I received a newsletter from the Association of Arizona Food Banks. The statistics listed rattled me—a reminder that it is good to use the tiny bit of soap box power I have to discuss this increasingly serious social issue. One in five Arizona adults is hungry, and the rate is even higher for kids—one in four. In other words, they do not know where their next meal will come from. This means some 1.17 million people in our state are living meal-to-meal. Seniors. Babies. The working poor. That’s a lot of folks, and it is easy to be overwhelmed....

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Tempe on the Rise

July 21, 2014 No Comments 2

Ray Stern, staff writer for the Phoenix New Times, has written a fascinating piece called Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development—as Planned. Stern takes a look at how Tempe has evolved over the years, with consideration for what the future may hold. He explores a bit of Tempe's history—including how it came to be land-locked—and takes a look at the role Tempe Town Lake is playing in the city's "smart growth" approach to urban development. Here's an excerpt: Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, wearing a hardhat and orange vest over his business attire, stands on a platform overlooking construction workers 100 feet below, showing a time-lapse video of the site on a smart phone to a few reporters and fellow council members. "Wait 'til you see the haboob!" he yells over the noise with a smile. The dust storm he references is a blip in the fast-forward scenes of the rising Marina Heights—the extensive digging, the laying of concrete, the skyward eruption of one of the main towers. Mitchell, son of Harry Mitchell, is having a spate of good luck as a politician. He's mayor at a time when the hard work of those who came before him is paying off. He takes on the expected jubilant attitude during the tour of the State Farm site. "This is a boom!" he says of new crop of construction cranes across his city. "But it's just the beginning. This will benefit generations to come." You can read the full story...

Ray Stern, staff writer for the Phoenix New Times, has written a fascinating piece called Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development—as Planned. Stern takes a look at how Tempe has evolved over the years, with consideration for what the future may hold. He explores a bit of Tempe's history—including how it came to be land-locked—and takes a look at the role Tempe Town Lake is playing in the city's "smart growth" approach to urban development. Here's an excerpt: Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, wearing a hardhat and orange vest over his business attire, stands on a platform overlooking construction workers 100 feet below, showing a time-lapse video of the site on a smart phone to a few reporters and fellow council members. "Wait 'til you see the haboob!" he yells over the noise with a smile. The dust storm he references is a blip in the fast-forward scenes of the rising Marina Heights—the extensive digging, the laying of concrete, the skyward eruption of one of the main towers. Mitchell, son of Harry Mitchell, is having a spate of good luck as a politician. He's mayor at a time when the hard work of those who came before him is paying off. He takes...

Ray Stern, staff writer for the Phoenix New Times, has written a fascinating piece called Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development—as Planned. Stern takes a look at how Tempe has evolved over the years, with consideration for what the future may hold. He explores a bit of Tempe's history—including how it came to be land-locked—and takes a look at the role Tempe Town Lake is playing in the city's "smart growth" approach to urban development. Here's an excerpt: Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, wearing a hardhat and orange vest over his business attire, stands on a platform overlooking construction workers 100 feet...

Ray Stern, staff writer for the Phoenix New Times, has written a fascinating piece called Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development—as Planned. Stern takes a look at how Tempe has evolved over the years, with consideration for what the future may hold. He explores a bit of Tempe's history—including...

Ray Stern, staff writer for the Phoenix New Times, has written a fascinating piece called Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development—as Planned. Stern...

Ray Stern, staff writer for the Phoenix New Times, has written a fascinating piece called Tempe Rising: The Landlocked College Town Explodes with New Development—as Planned. Stern takes a look at how Tempe has evolved over the years, with consideration for what the future may hold. He explores a bit of Tempe's history—including how it came to be land-locked—and takes a look at the role Tempe Town Lake is playing in the city's "smart growth" approach to urban development. Here's an excerpt: Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, wearing a hardhat and orange vest over his business attire, stands on a platform overlooking construction workers 100 feet...

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Good Things Are Happening Here

July 21, 2014 No Comments 6

Over the past few years, since joining the Arizona Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to live in Phoenix. As I settled in and got to work with the team, little by little I got to know my new city. I found some new favorite restaurants, I made new friends, and found a church community to belong to. But even though I called Phoenix home, I’ve since come to realize I hadn’t yet really seen Phoenix for what it is. It wasn’t until I broke my leg and was sidelined from the game that I really began to explore this city. And you know what I discovered? I found out that good things are happening here. With the help of my friends at EVB Live, I traversed just about every corner of the Valley as part of Sam in the City, discovering fascinating new places and meeting the people who make our city great. Whenever possible, I did what I could to be part of it. I ate some crazy food and learned about wolves at the Arizona State Fair. I spent some time reading with kids at UMOM New Day Center. I got to know some remarkable kids with autism at St. Dominic Savio Academy in Tempe. I cooked food for breast cancer survivors at Sapporo in Scottsdale. And then there was the Phoenix Open golf tournament, the Barrett-Jackson auto auction, baseball spring training… and I could go on and on and on. No doubt about it—good things are happening here. And that’s why I’m so excited about Flourish Phoenix. This is a storytelling project all about encouraging, inspiring, highlighting, and celebrating the people, organizations, and events that together make this city great. I couldn’t be more excited to be in Phoenix—a city that is flourishing in many ways, but one that can flourish even...

Over the past few years, since joining the Arizona Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to live in Phoenix. As I settled in and got to work with the team, little by little I got to know my new city. I found some new favorite restaurants, I made new friends, and found a church community to belong to. But even though I called Phoenix home, I’ve since come to realize I hadn’t yet really seen Phoenix for what it is. It wasn’t until I broke my leg and was sidelined from the game that I really began to explore this city. And you know what I discovered? I found out that good things are happening here. With the help of my friends at EVB Live, I traversed just about every corner of the Valley as part of Sam in the City, discovering fascinating new places and meeting the people who make our city great. Whenever possible, I did what I could to be part of it. I ate some crazy food and learned about wolves at the Arizona State Fair. I spent some time reading with kids at UMOM New Day Center. I got to know some remarkable kids with autism at St. Dominic...

Over the past few years, since joining the Arizona Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to live in Phoenix. As I settled in and got to work with the team, little by little I got to know my new city. I found some new favorite restaurants, I made new friends, and found a church community to belong to. But even though I called Phoenix home, I’ve since come to realize I hadn’t yet really seen Phoenix for what it is. It wasn’t until I broke my leg and was sidelined from the game that I really began to explore this city. And...

Over the past few years, since joining the Arizona Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to live in Phoenix. As I settled in and got to work with the team, little by little I got to know my new city. I found some new favorite restaurants, I made new friends, and...

Over the past few years, since joining the Arizona Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to live in Phoenix. As I settled in and got to...

Over the past few years, since joining the Arizona Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to live in Phoenix. As I settled in and got to work with the team, little by little I got to know my new city. I found some new favorite restaurants, I made new friends, and found a church community to belong to. But even though I called Phoenix home, I’ve since come to realize I hadn’t yet really seen Phoenix for what it is. It wasn’t until I broke my leg and was sidelined from the game that I really began to explore this city. And...

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The Power of Murals

July 18, 2014 No Comments 0

Sarah Goodyear writes for CityLab about a large-scale art project in a Brooklyn neighborhood as a way of considering what murals might accomplish beyond beautifying the neighborhood: From the sidewalk, Patrick Dougher watched the girl as she studied the painting, which looked so fresh it might still have been wet. Dougher is the program director of Groundswell, a nonprofit organization that creates murals all around New York City with teams of artists and young apprentices. “That’s what I love about where this one is,” says Dougher. “It’s a bus stop. Think how many hundreds of people are going to see it every day.” Visibility is key for Groundswell’s projects, and its work in Brownsville—a neighborhood most often tagged with words such as “tough” and “troubled”—is no exception. The vivid image on the wall on that corner is the most outward expression of the positive effect that Groundswell hopes to have on this perennially underserved community, home to more public housing projects than any other New York neighborhood and plagued by a persistently high crime rate. One in 12 young Brownsville men between the ages of 16 and 24 is in prison. The work began last year when Groundswell, in partnership with the NYC Department of Probation and the Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District, won a National Endowment for the Arts grant of $100,000 for “Transform/Restore: Brownsville.” The two-year project will ultimately create five new murals in Brownsville, enlisting crews of young people to come up with the concepts for the art, design the murals to fit the allotted spaces, and then make them a reality. Some of the youth, who work under the supervision of Groundswell artists, are on probation, while others are Groundswell veterans who were originally referred to the program by teachers or community organizations. About 40 probationers will be involved by project’s end. The...

Sarah Goodyear writes for CityLab about a large-scale art project in a Brooklyn neighborhood as a way of considering what murals might accomplish beyond beautifying the neighborhood: From the sidewalk, Patrick Dougher watched the girl as she studied the painting, which looked so fresh it might still have been wet. Dougher is the program director of Groundswell, a nonprofit organization that creates murals all around New York City with teams of artists and young apprentices. “That’s what I love about where this one is,” says Dougher. “It’s a bus stop. Think how many hundreds of people are going to see it every day.” Visibility is key for Groundswell’s projects, and its work in Brownsville—a neighborhood most often tagged with words such as “tough” and “troubled”—is no exception. The vivid image on the wall on that corner is the most outward expression of the positive effect that Groundswell hopes to have on this perennially underserved community, home to more public housing projects than any other New York neighborhood and plagued by a persistently high crime rate. One in 12 young Brownsville men between the ages of 16 and 24 is in prison. The work began last year when Groundswell, in partnership with the NYC Department of Probation...

Sarah Goodyear writes for CityLab about a large-scale art project in a Brooklyn neighborhood as a way of considering what murals might accomplish beyond beautifying the neighborhood: From the sidewalk, Patrick Dougher watched the girl as she studied the painting, which looked so fresh it might still have been wet. Dougher is the program director of Groundswell, a nonprofit organization that creates murals all around New York City with teams of artists and young apprentices. “That’s what I love about where this one is,” says Dougher. “It’s a bus stop. Think how many hundreds of people are going to see it every day.” Visibility is...

Sarah Goodyear writes for CityLab about a large-scale art project in a Brooklyn neighborhood as a way of considering what murals might accomplish beyond beautifying the neighborhood: From the sidewalk, Patrick Dougher watched the girl as she studied the painting, which looked so fresh it might still have been wet. Dougher is the program...

Sarah Goodyear writes for CityLab about a large-scale art project in a Brooklyn neighborhood as a way of considering what murals might accomplish beyond beautifying the neighborhood: From the...

Sarah Goodyear writes for CityLab about a large-scale art project in a Brooklyn neighborhood as a way of considering what murals might accomplish beyond beautifying the neighborhood: From the sidewalk, Patrick Dougher watched the girl as she studied the painting, which looked so fresh it might still have been wet. Dougher is the program director of Groundswell, a nonprofit organization that creates murals all around New York City with teams of artists and young apprentices. “That’s what I love about where this one is,” says Dougher. “It’s a bus stop. Think how many hundreds of people are going to see it every day.” Visibility is...

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Are Cities Becoming More Like Villages?

July 18, 2014 No Comments 0

It's no secret that more and more people around the world are living in cities. Some choose dense urban areas for the amenities and lifestyle options available there. Others follow job opportunities. In some parts of the world, it's not uncommon for people to flee natural or manmade disasters in the rugged countryside, hoping to find a better life in the city. Whatever the reason, cities continue to grow. Despite everything new city dwellers may stand to gain, however, one significant casualty is a sense of trust. In big cities especially, we're conditioned not to trust strangers. And when we're surrounded almost exclusively by strangers, as many of us are, trust is very difficult to build. But if you ask Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, all of that stands to change. Uri Friedman of The Atlantic has summarized a talk Chesky recently gave at the Aspen Ideas Festival, in which he described this trend as "the Internet moving into your neighborhood." Friedman writes: Now, he argues, trust, mediated by technology, is making a comeback, along with the paradigm of the village. It's what's motivating millions of people in tens of thousands of cities around the world to book lodging with semi-screened strangers through his service. Choose your buzzword: the sharing economy, the peer-to-peer economy, the trust economy. Whatever you call it, it's what's propelled not just Airbnb, but also new car services like Uber and Lyft and labor services like TaskRabbit. In other words, the proliferation of these technology-driven tools that help us navigate life in big cities around the world are also helping to re-instill a sense of trust among people. Friedman goes on to make this interesting observation: What I find most interesting, though, is that Chesky sees village-like networks sprouting in cities at a time when urbanization is also going in the polar opposite direction. More than half of the world currently...

It's no secret that more and more people around the world are living in cities. Some choose dense urban areas for the amenities and lifestyle options available there. Others follow job opportunities. In some parts of the world, it's not uncommon for people to flee natural or manmade disasters in the rugged countryside, hoping to find a better life in the city. Whatever the reason, cities continue to grow. Despite everything new city dwellers may stand to gain, however, one significant casualty is a sense of trust. In big cities especially, we're conditioned not to trust strangers. And when we're surrounded almost exclusively by strangers, as many of us are, trust is very difficult to build. But if you ask Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, all of that stands to change. Uri Friedman of The Atlantic has summarized a talk Chesky recently gave at the Aspen Ideas Festival, in which he described this trend as "the Internet moving into your neighborhood." Friedman writes: Now, he argues, trust, mediated by technology, is making a comeback, along with the paradigm of the village. It's what's motivating millions of people in tens of thousands of cities around the world to book lodging with semi-screened strangers through his service. Choose your...

It's no secret that more and more people around the world are living in cities. Some choose dense urban areas for the amenities and lifestyle options available there. Others follow job opportunities. In some parts of the world, it's not uncommon for people to flee natural or manmade disasters in the rugged countryside, hoping to find a better life in the city. Whatever the reason, cities continue to grow. Despite everything new city dwellers may stand to gain, however, one significant casualty is a sense of trust. In big cities especially, we're conditioned not to trust strangers. And when we're surrounded almost exclusively...

It's no secret that more and more people around the world are living in cities. Some choose dense urban areas for the amenities and lifestyle options available there. Others follow job opportunities. In some parts of the world, it's not uncommon for people to flee natural or manmade disasters in...

It's no secret that more and more people around the world are living in cities. Some choose dense urban areas for the amenities and lifestyle...

It's no secret that more and more people around the world are living in cities. Some choose dense urban areas for the amenities and lifestyle options available there. Others follow job opportunities. In some parts of the world, it's not uncommon for people to flee natural or manmade disasters in the rugged countryside, hoping to find a better life in the city. Whatever the reason, cities continue to grow. Despite everything new city dwellers may stand to gain, however, one significant casualty is a sense of trust. In big cities especially, we're conditioned not to trust strangers. And when we're surrounded almost exclusively...

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Creative Placemaking on Roosevelt Row

July 17, 2014 No Comments 1

Congratulations to our friends at Roosevelt Row CDC, who have been awarded a 2014 ArtPlace Grant for creative placemaking. Here's a blurb from the announcement: An innovative new model for affordable artist live/work spaces will be coming soon to Roosevelt Row thanks to ArtPlace America. Today, ArtPlace announced Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) as one of 55 national grantees to receive significant funding to support the nationally-recognized artists’ district. Roosevelt Row CDC will receive $90,000 to support a creative placemaking shipping container pilot project, addressing the ongoing need for permanent affordable housing for artists in downtown Phoenix. You can read the full announcement...

Congratulations to our friends at Roosevelt Row CDC, who have been awarded a 2014 ArtPlace Grant for creative placemaking. Here's a blurb from the announcement: An innovative new model for affordable artist live/work spaces will be coming soon to Roosevelt Row thanks to ArtPlace America. Today, ArtPlace announced Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) as one of 55 national grantees to receive significant funding to support the nationally-recognized artists’ district. Roosevelt Row CDC will receive $90,000 to support a creative placemaking shipping container pilot project, addressing the ongoing need for permanent affordable housing for artists in downtown Phoenix. You can read the full announcement...

Congratulations to our friends at Roosevelt Row CDC, who have been awarded a 2014 ArtPlace Grant for creative placemaking. Here's a blurb from the announcement: An innovative new model for affordable artist live/work spaces will be coming soon to Roosevelt Row thanks to ArtPlace America. Today, ArtPlace announced Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) as one of 55 national grantees to receive significant funding to support the nationally-recognized artists’ district. Roosevelt Row CDC will receive $90,000 to support a creative placemaking shipping container pilot project, addressing the ongoing need for permanent affordable housing for artists in downtown Phoenix. You can read the full...

Congratulations to our friends at Roosevelt Row CDC, who have been awarded a 2014 ArtPlace Grant for creative placemaking. Here's a blurb from the announcement: An innovative new model for affordable artist live/work spaces will be coming soon to Roosevelt Row thanks to ArtPlace America. Today, ArtPlace announced Roosevelt Row Community Development...

Congratulations to our friends at Roosevelt Row CDC, who have been awarded a 2014 ArtPlace Grant for creative placemaking. Here's a blurb from the announcement: An innovative...

Congratulations to our friends at Roosevelt Row CDC, who have been awarded a 2014 ArtPlace Grant for creative placemaking. Here's a blurb from the announcement: An innovative new model for affordable artist live/work spaces will be coming soon to Roosevelt Row thanks to ArtPlace America. Today, ArtPlace announced Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation (CDC) as one of 55 national grantees to receive significant funding to support the nationally-recognized artists’ district. Roosevelt Row CDC will receive $90,000 to support a creative placemaking shipping container pilot project, addressing the ongoing need for permanent affordable housing for artists in downtown Phoenix. You can read the full...

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Specificity

July 15, 2014 No Comments 1

"They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few streets, a few houses, a few people. Remove those few and a city exists no longer except as a pain in the memory, like a pain of an amputated leg no longer there." ― Graham Greene, Our Man in...

"They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few streets, a few houses, a few people. Remove those few and a city exists no longer except as a pain in the memory, like a pain of an amputated leg no longer there." ― Graham Greene, Our Man in...

"They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few streets, a few houses, a few people. Remove those few and a city exists no longer except as a pain in the memory, like a pain of an amputated leg no longer there." ― Graham Greene, Our Man in...

"They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few streets, a few houses, a few people. Remove those few and a city exists no longer except as a pain in the memory, like a...

"They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few...

"They can print statistics and count the populations in hundreds of thousands, but to each man a city consists of no more than a few streets, a few houses, a few people. Remove those few and a city exists no longer except as a pain in the memory, like a pain of an amputated leg no longer there." ― Graham Greene, Our Man in...

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Why Environmental Stewardship Matters

July 14, 2014 3 Comments 4

It was my first time at church. Ever. My parents must have felt guilty about something, because they had the sudden urge to attend church one hot summer day in 1992. It was one of the few times I remember visiting a Sunday school class as a child. I found myself feeling awkward as a 10-year old who didn’t understand most of the words and didn't know any of the people. The activity for our class was to write out a prayer on a decorative piece of paper. Not knowing much about prayer, I had to draw on the limited areas of knowledge I had as a child of the early 90s: the Gulf War, science class, baseball, and girls. Here was my prayer: “Dear God, Thank you for food, water, shelter, space, love, and a wonderful world. Please kill Saddam Hussein. Please let me marry Jill from my baseball team. Amen.” I’m fully aware that this is a creepy prayer for a ten-year-old. The teachers were rightly concerned, but about the wrong things. When I explained that my line about food, water, shelter, and space came from my science class and that these things made up the different parts of an animal’s habitat, they responded by telling me that I needed to make my prayer “more spiritual.” They didn’t comment on my hawkish foreign policy. That incident stuck with me. Years later, when I came to know and love Christ, I assumed that when I started to read the Bible, I would read a spiritual book that was ambivalent toward this physical world. I didn’t expect to find a verse that said, “Thou shall not recycle, but thou shall drown baby seals in in a puddle of motor oil.”  Rather, I expected to find a message about a God that cared exclusively about spiritual...

It was my first time at church. Ever. My parents must have felt guilty about something, because they had the sudden urge to attend church one hot summer day in 1992. It was one of the few times I remember visiting a Sunday school class as a child. I found myself feeling awkward as a 10-year old who didn’t understand most of the words and didn't know any of the people. The activity for our class was to write out a prayer on a decorative piece of paper. Not knowing much about prayer, I had to draw on the limited areas of knowledge I had as a child of the early 90s: the Gulf War, science class, baseball, and girls. Here was my prayer: “Dear God, Thank you for food, water, shelter, space, love, and a wonderful world. Please kill Saddam Hussein. Please let me marry Jill from my baseball team. Amen.” I’m fully aware that this is a creepy prayer for a ten-year-old. The teachers were rightly concerned, but about the wrong things. When I explained that my line about food, water, shelter, and space came from my science class and that these things made up the different parts of an animal’s habitat,...

It was my first time at church. Ever. My parents must have felt guilty about something, because they had the sudden urge to attend church one hot summer day in 1992. It was one of the few times I remember visiting a Sunday school class as a child. I found myself feeling awkward as a 10-year old who didn’t understand most of the words and didn't know any of the people. The activity for our class was to write out a prayer on a decorative piece of paper. Not knowing much about prayer, I had to draw on the limited areas of...

It was my first time at church. Ever. My parents must have felt guilty about something, because they had the sudden urge to attend church one hot summer day in 1992. It was one of the few times I remember visiting a Sunday school class as a child. I found myself...

It was my first time at church. Ever. My parents must have felt guilty about something, because they had the sudden urge to attend church one...

It was my first time at church. Ever. My parents must have felt guilty about something, because they had the sudden urge to attend church one hot summer day in 1992. It was one of the few times I remember visiting a Sunday school class as a child. I found myself feeling awkward as a 10-year old who didn’t understand most of the words and didn't know any of the people. The activity for our class was to write out a prayer on a decorative piece of paper. Not knowing much about prayer, I had to draw on the limited areas of...

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Reversing Sprawl

July 11, 2014 No Comments 0

The headline for a recent Fast Company article proclaims, “Phoenix Is Pulling Off An Urban Miracle”—the miracle being, by this account, the transformation of Phoenix into a walkable city. The article highlights a series of before-and-after mock-ups produced by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) featuring “narrower roads, bike lanes, sidewalk cafes, and new parks replacing vast swaths of concrete.” The proposed plans are focused on walkable urban development along the light rail, ultimately aimed at reducing Valley residents’ dependence on cars. As Galina Tachieva of DPZ is quoted as saying, “The city that will survive in the 21st century is a city which relies on simpler methods of mobility and transportation than just cars." Go check out the renderings and read the article at Fast Company for yourself. Then come on back and share your thoughts in the comments. As someone who lives here, what do you make of this so-called “urban...

The headline for a recent Fast Company article proclaims, “Phoenix Is Pulling Off An Urban Miracle”—the miracle being, by this account, the transformation of Phoenix into a walkable city. The article highlights a series of before-and-after mock-ups produced by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) featuring “narrower roads, bike lanes, sidewalk cafes, and new parks replacing vast swaths of concrete.” The proposed plans are focused on walkable urban development along the light rail, ultimately aimed at reducing Valley residents’ dependence on cars. As Galina Tachieva of DPZ is quoted as saying, “The city that will survive in the 21st century is a city which relies on simpler methods of mobility and transportation than just cars." Go check out the renderings and read the article at Fast Company for yourself. Then come on back and share your thoughts in the comments. As someone who lives here, what do you make of this so-called “urban...

The headline for a recent Fast Company article proclaims, “Phoenix Is Pulling Off An Urban Miracle”—the miracle being, by this account, the transformation of Phoenix into a walkable city. The article highlights a series of before-and-after mock-ups produced by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) featuring “narrower roads, bike lanes, sidewalk cafes, and new parks replacing vast swaths of concrete.” The proposed plans are focused on walkable urban development along the light rail, ultimately aimed at reducing Valley residents’ dependence on cars. As Galina Tachieva of DPZ is quoted as saying, “The city that will survive in the 21st century is a...

The headline for a recent Fast Company article proclaims, “Phoenix Is Pulling Off An Urban Miracle”—the miracle being, by this account, the transformation of Phoenix into a walkable city. The article highlights a series of before-and-after mock-ups produced by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) featuring “narrower roads, bike lanes, sidewalk...

The headline for a recent Fast Company article proclaims, “Phoenix Is Pulling Off An Urban Miracle”—the miracle being, by this account, the transformation of Phoenix...

The headline for a recent Fast Company article proclaims, “Phoenix Is Pulling Off An Urban Miracle”—the miracle being, by this account, the transformation of Phoenix into a walkable city. The article highlights a series of before-and-after mock-ups produced by Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) featuring “narrower roads, bike lanes, sidewalk cafes, and new parks replacing vast swaths of concrete.” The proposed plans are focused on walkable urban development along the light rail, ultimately aimed at reducing Valley residents’ dependence on cars. As Galina Tachieva of DPZ is quoted as saying, “The city that will survive in the 21st century is a...

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When Poverty Sprawls into the Suburbs

July 11, 2014 No Comments 0

Rebecca Burns has an important article in Politico Magazine on the suburbanization of poverty. While her focus is on trends in the Atlanta metro area, there are plenty of insights for us here in Phoenix as well. Burns describes how Cobb County has morphed over the past 15 years from “a quintessentially middle-class kind of place” to a suburb where the poverty rate has doubled, earning it the dubious distinction of being the United States county “where low-income people have the least chance of finding affordable places to live.” This is not an indictment of Cobb County in particular. Rather, what’s happening in Cobb is a microcosm of the dilemma facing suburbs nationwide: a rapid spike in the number of poor people in what once were the sprawling beacons of American prosperity. Think of it as the flip side of the national urban boom: The poverty rate across all U.S. suburbs doubled in the first decade of the millennium—even as America’s cities are transforming in the other direction, toward rising affluence and hipster reinvention. If the old story of poverty in America was crumbling inner cities and drug-addled housing projects, the new story is increasingly one of downscale strip malls and long bus rides in search of ever-scarcer jobs. We can’t understand what’s working in America’s cities unless we also look at what’s not working in the vast suburbs that surround them. Last summer, Ronald Hansen of the Arizona Republic reported on the rise of suburban poverty in metro Phoenix. “Since 2000,” he wrote, “suburban poverty in metro Phoenix has soared, creating new pockets of decay and surprising hurdles in areas often inexperienced with such problems.” Hansen referred to research from the recent book Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, based on the findings of a study by the Brookings Institution, which found that suburban...

Rebecca Burns has an important article in Politico Magazine on the suburbanization of poverty. While her focus is on trends in the Atlanta metro area, there are plenty of insights for us here in Phoenix as well. Burns describes how Cobb County has morphed over the past 15 years from “a quintessentially middle-class kind of place” to a suburb where the poverty rate has doubled, earning it the dubious distinction of being the United States county “where low-income people have the least chance of finding affordable places to live.” This is not an indictment of Cobb County in particular. Rather, what’s happening in Cobb is a microcosm of the dilemma facing suburbs nationwide: a rapid spike in the number of poor people in what once were the sprawling beacons of American prosperity. Think of it as the flip side of the national urban boom: The poverty rate across all U.S. suburbs doubled in the first decade of the millennium—even as America’s cities are transforming in the other direction, toward rising affluence and hipster reinvention. If the old story of poverty in America was crumbling inner cities and drug-addled housing projects, the new story is increasingly one of downscale strip malls and long...

Rebecca Burns has an important article in Politico Magazine on the suburbanization of poverty. While her focus is on trends in the Atlanta metro area, there are plenty of insights for us here in Phoenix as well. Burns describes how Cobb County has morphed over the past 15 years from “a quintessentially middle-class kind of place” to a suburb where the poverty rate has doubled, earning it the dubious distinction of being the United States county “where low-income people have the least chance of finding affordable places to live.” This is not an indictment of Cobb County in particular. Rather, what’s happening...

Rebecca Burns has an important article in Politico Magazine on the suburbanization of poverty. While her focus is on trends in the Atlanta metro area, there are plenty of insights for us here in Phoenix as well. Burns describes how Cobb County has morphed over the past 15 years from “a...

Rebecca Burns has an important article in Politico Magazine on the suburbanization of poverty. While her focus is on trends in the Atlanta metro area,...

Rebecca Burns has an important article in Politico Magazine on the suburbanization of poverty. While her focus is on trends in the Atlanta metro area, there are plenty of insights for us here in Phoenix as well. Burns describes how Cobb County has morphed over the past 15 years from “a quintessentially middle-class kind of place” to a suburb where the poverty rate has doubled, earning it the dubious distinction of being the United States county “where low-income people have the least chance of finding affordable places to live.” This is not an indictment of Cobb County in particular. Rather, what’s happening...

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