The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning works with the community in reciprocal partnership. The initiatives contribute to community dialogue and respond to community needs. Here are a few examples:
The Arizona Geographic Alliance
Founded in 1992 as part of a national network of state geography alliances, the Arizona Geographic Alliance currently has over 3,700 members and more than 175 teachers in its Teacher Consultant leadership cadre. The organization hosts numerous workshops as well as a Summer Geography Institute. Since 2003, the Alliance has provided professional growth opportunities in geography education to over 16,000 teachers who in turn have impacted over 640,000 students. The Alliance web site provides K-12 geography lesson plans linked to national and state standards as well as printable outline maps.
Community / Classroom Collaborations in Planning
- Spring 2013: Placemaking in Mesa: Responding to a request from the City of Mesa, students in a graduate-level planning course researched the vision of a town square for downtown Mesa, developing recommendations for an urban plaza that could form a public gathering-place
- Fall 2012: Investigating Vacant-Land Development Opportunities: Planning students partnered with Valley Forward to envision new uses for vacant lots that dot the Phoenix Metro area. Their work will become the foundation of Valley Forward's efforts to help cities redevelop locations like the ones the students studied.
Place Makers Collaboratory
The Place Makers Collaboratory provides learning opportunities for professionals and students in the areas of urban development, sustainable design and community planning.
The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning offers unique resources and knowledge bases to provide a learning environment for architects, design professionals, real estate leaders, government officials, policy makers, social scientists and planners. The workshops focus on educating professionals, practitioners and students on current planning issues, to create further opportunities for civic engagement between the University and the greater Valley community.
- "Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Developers & Brokers" (January 30-31, 2013)
- "Economic Impact Analysis Workshop" (March 1, 2013)
- "Health + Community Planning" (October 9, 2012)
Fall 2012 Brown Bag Lecture Series
The Brown Bag Lecture Series helped bring the School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning academic community into a collaborative relationship with the cities of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the greater public, and the private sector -- promoting and sharing ideas on urban form, city planning, design, and architecture in the urban context.
- Taz Loomans, Architect + Community Writer, Bloomingrock.com
- Curt Upton, Planner II, City of Phoenix
- Bonnie Richardson, Planner + Architect, City of Tempe
- Cavin Costello, Chief Designer, The Ranch Mine, LLC
- Benjamin Limmer, Corridor & Facility Development Manager, Valley Metro
- Jonce Walker, Sustainability Manager, Maricopa County
Arizona Town Hall Background Reports
The Arizona Town Hall is a nonprofit organization that identifies critical issues facing Arizona, and hosts biannual Town Hall meetings to promote public consideration of these issues and build consensus, as well as supporting implementation of the resulting recommendations.
Several School faculty have taken responsibility for preparing Town Hall Background Reports. The reports are comprehensive research documents distributed to Town Hall participants before each conference. Recent reports edited by School faculty:
- 94th Arizona Town Hall (2009): "From Here to There: Transportation Opportunities for Arizona," edited by Professor Michael Kuby and Assistant Professor Aaron Golub.
- 91st Arizona Town Hall (2007): "Land Use: Challenges and Choices for the 21st Century," edited by Professor Patricia Gober.