February 27, 2012

What is Your Vision for Lower Grand Avenue?

by: Lysistrata Hall

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Today’s post is by Lyssa Hall and Leslie Dornfeld:

What is your vision for Lower Grand Avenue?

What are your short-term ideas for increasing vibrancy along Lower Grand Avenue?

What are the challenges and barriers blocking sustainable urban development?

What is the role of the community in developing a sustainable Phoenix?

The city of Phoenix, Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are interested in hearing your ideas and invite you to participate in a three day community design workshop focused on “Greening Lower Grand Avenue.”

Starting with its birth in 1888 as a 100-foot wide roadway connecting downtown Phoenix to downtown Glendale, and later connecting to the downtowns of Surprise, El Mirage, Peoria and Wickenburg, Grand Avenue has long been a vital part of the Valley’s history.  Now a location that houses artists, professionals and manufacturing, Grand Avenue south of the I-10 is an eclectic environment that is brimming with opportunity.  Lower Grand Avenue has the potential to be a symbol of smart growth in the arid southwest and serve as a catalyst for the development of a healthier, more livable and prosperous Phoenix and Arizona.

In honor of Arizona’s centennial the city of Phoenix is teaming up with the Grand Avenue Merchants’ Association, and the EPA to develop a revitalization concept for Lower Grand Avenue.  Lower Grand Avenue encompasses the area along Grand Avenue from Interstate 10 to the Van Buren Street and Seventh Avenue intersection.  The project will explore possibilities for an improved Grand Avenue streetscape design, making it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, and incorporating sustainable elements while maintaining the neighborhood’s unique character.

A key part of this process is a three-day public community design workshop that provides a forum for residents to share their ideas for the future of Lower Grand Avenue and Phoenix’s urban core.  The overall goal is to brainstorm strategies for streetscape improvements that incorporate sustainable features such water harvesting, reducing ambient temperatures, enhancing mobility and supporting economic development and community events.  We need your input and support to make this process a success.

Design Workshop Schedule:

Kick of Meeting: 6 – 8 p.m. Feb. 28

Public Open House: 6 – 8 p.m.  Feb. 29 and March 1

Open Studio: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Feb. 28 through March 1

Reception: 7 – 10 p.m. March 2

Location: Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 Grand Avenue

The workshop schedule and project information is posted at phoenix.gov/parks/greeninggrand.html.

The website will be updated with designs and other information before, during and after the workshop.

If you’re unable to attend the evening meeting, please feel free visit the studio and provide your ideas in writing, speak with a team member, or request an informal meeting. If you are unable to make it in person, please use the website to provide us with your ideas and feedback.

Grand Avenue, functionally, socially and economically, remains important to the health of downtown Phoenix and the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.  Support to develop a conceptual streetscape plan could not have arrived at a better time.  Smart planning, critical to the ongoing renaissance of Grand Avenue, benefits from your input and your participation is welcomed, encouraged, and appreciated.

If you have any questions, please contact lead consultant Leslie Dornfeld at 602-663-2002, by email at leslie@plan-et.us or contact the city’s Project Manager Lysistrata “Lyssa” Hall by at 602-261-8810, or by email at lysistrata.hall@phoenix.gov.

Photo Credit: Grand Avenue outside of Braggs Pie Factory. Photo by Lyssa Hall.

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