As mentioned previous, Jane Jacob’s was a strong proponent of amateur urbanism and urban observers. Jacobs, and amateur herself, was an outsider with no formal training in planning who was able to turn more than a century of conventional thinking about cities on its head through her own observations. In this spirit, Jane’s Walk Phoenix is intended to provide an ‘amateur eye view’ of downtown Phoenix. While we will be accompanied by knowledgeable locals and experts, there will be there largely to answer your questions and highlight things that you want to here and know more about.
To help get you thinking, I have listed a series a questions below to get you thinking of how you appreciate, observe and understand downtown Phoenix. While you are free to define the downtown area however you’d like, It would be great if you could pay particular attention to the area that we will be covering during Jane’s Walk Phoenix, between 7th Ave and 7th St, and Van Buren St and the I-10 (i.e. the Roosevelt, Evans Churchill Neighborhoods and ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus).
Please feel free to selected a few questions to answer in the comments section below so that we can start a discussion:
1. What are some important meeting spaces in downtown Phoenix? (important for work, food, thinking, recreation, laughing with friends, local politics – think broadly)
2. What spaces are you most proud of in downtown Phoenix?
3. What are some important green-spaces?
4. What are some interesting short-cuts you take?
5. Where do kids like to play? Adults? Retired folks?
6. Where are some spaces that feel more private, like a small urban oasis?
7. Do any buildings have unusual marks or features?
8. What is your favorite adaptive use project? (older buildings that have been reconfigured into different uses)?
9. Are there any important historical spaces in your neighborhood?
10. Where do you feel most comfortable?
11. Where do you not feel safe?
12. What is a space that you really dislike?
13. What is your favorite mixed-use location (places that mix retail, business and residential)?
14. Are there spaces you would like to see change?
15. Are there spaces/features you want to see preserved?
And finally: Is there an important question or idea that should be talked about by everyone?