A look ahead: Phoenix Urban Design Week 2017

The first day of Phoenix Urban Design Week 2017 will include two panels at the Westward Ho about community leadership and culture. (Nicole Neri/DD)

The sixth-annual Phoenix Urban Design Week (PUDW) kicks off Friday with a variety of events meant to encourage attendees to reimagine our city.

Dorina Bustamante, Downtown Phoenix Inc. director of communications, said a combined 2,500 people are expected to participate in the events, which range from tours and talks to happy hours and workshops.

The events are hosted by a partnership of groups including Downtown Phoenix Inc (DPI), the Sustainability Solutions Festival and the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, which are part of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

This year’s theme is “(Re)Image Our Home”, which takes after ASU’s sustainability month theme “(re)imagine your world”. PUDW is normally held in March, but was moved up to coincide with ASU’s sustainability month, during which a variety of other educational events on sustainability are offered by the school’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative.

“People are changing their home environment and maybe living in a smaller footprint, but they’re taking over more of their outdoor space in a different way … so the city and the neighborhood is like the living room,” Bustamante said. “It’s even more important we talk about urban design as it falls in line with urban living and that all ties into (Re)image Our Home.”

Bustamante is co-hosting the week of events along with Lindsay Kinkade, founder of Design RePublic. Other community groups, organizations and restaurants will also participate and host events including Local First Arizona, Get Your PHX, What Should Go Here? and Urban Phoenix Project.

“It’s an opportunity to explore ideas without being in a stuffy meeting,” said Sean Sweat, president of the Urban Phoenix Project.

The Urban Phoenix Project, an urban advocacy group focused on downtown Phoenix, will be participating for the first time with several events. On Monday the group will host an alley walk and a “Playful City Workshop” on Friday.

Sweat said the workshop will help introduce people to the concept of having a playful city. The event will be about brainstorming things that people want to do and what can be done in Phoenix.

Bustamante said all the events, most of which are free, are in direct response to the community.

“It’s a way to engage and to feel empowered and to be excited about building the Phoenix that we all want,” Bustamante said. “As Urban Design Week grows, so goes the city.”


Contact the Reporter at Kara.Carlson@asu.edu.