Newsbriefs February 27

by Laura Turner

Phoenix Enhances Sustainable Downtown Park

Phoenix has completed the second phase of Civic Space Park, a unique urban facility that utilizes sustainable design techniques to generate power, cool the area and capture rainwater.

Opened in April 2009, the three-acre site was home to old buildings and parking lots before the city began acquiring the properties.

The park is now enjoyed by downtown workers, visitors, students at Arizona State University's nearby campus and residents, especially those of an assisted living facility converted from an old hotel.

Civic Space Park is a partnership between the city and university, and the two entities jointly manage the main building renovated as part of the project, known as the A. E. England Building.

Constructed in the 1920s to house a car dealership, the building now features meeting and event space, retail and an art gallery.

A former post office building adjacent to the assisted living facility will become the university's student union.

The park's centerpiece is the landmark sculpture Her Secret is Patience, made of multicolored fiber nets suspended up to 145 feet in the air. Ground-mounted colored lighting gives the piece a different appearance at night.

Once trees and other vegetation mature, more than 70 percent of the park's surface area will be shaded, some of which will come from surrounding buildings.

Solar panels on the park's shade structures generate 75 kilowatts of power - enough to power eight or nine average residences - to offset lighting and electrical needs.

For the first time, the city used previous concrete and pavers for hard surfaces that reduce heat reflection and allow rainwater to percolate down.

The interactive water feature is popular with children, said the Parks and Recreation Department's Tom Byrne, who served as project manager.

To encourage pedestrian visitation and use of mass transit, no parking spaces were built. There is no ajdacent street parking, but light rail and the central bus transfer station are close by.

A walking tour of Civic Space Park was among the mobile workshops offered during NLC's recent Congress of Cities and Exposition.

Details: Parks and Recreation Department public information office at (602) 262-4994.

Santa Fe, N.M., Assists Artists

The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and Santa Fe Creative Tourism is offering a series of evening classes and one-on-one consultations for artists, artisans and craftsmen interested in working with the Creative Tourism program.

The classes include a combination of lectures and demonstrations and overviews on free or inexpensive on-line marketing tools.

Artists who offer workshops and classes for the public within Santa Fe County are eligible for free consultations on Internet marketing. Consultations on creating websites and blogs and using social networks are being offered to small businesses interested in finding workshop customers through Santa Fe Creative Tourism's website.

The city's marketing of Creative Tourism is centered on its website, Listings are free to local firms that offer hands-on workshops, classes or experiences. The website is marketed through a blog, newsletter and other websites, including those of businesses listed on the site.

The city is continuing to work with artists and arts businesses to further develop the organization and promotion of workshops that allow visitors to experience Santa Fe in a hands-on fashion. The initiative was created as a result of the city's 2005 appointment to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and builds on the 2008 International Conference on Creative Tourism held in Santa Fe.

Details: Joyce Bond, Public Information and Marketing, at (505) 955-6852 or