Gould Evans + Canary shows its support for the City of Phoenix in making the city more multi-modal and more vibrant. Multi-modal initiatives are improving public health, access and creating economic development for all. Gould Evans wants to do its part as a private organization to help connect the community and improve citizenship and awareness on these subject matters. On April 7th, Gould Evans + Canary shut down 3rd Street to reimagine Phoenix through the lens of “Equitable Mobility.”
With the help of Joseph Perez, City of Phoenix Bicycle Coordinator, the studio invited Gil Penalosa, an international catalyst in creating cities for ALL people, to discuss how the community can promote the many great ideas and initiatives for improved streetscapes and multi-modal connectivity around Phoenix. Then, in an exercise in reinventing Downtown public spaces, Gould Evans + Canary temporarily re-striped the street as a two-way, shaded, walkable street mockup with protected bike lanes.Gould Evans + Canary invited city officials, Valley Metro representatives, nonprofit organizations and others to attend and participate in the discussion, which was a free event opened to the public.
Penalosa presented his ideas on creating a vibrant city for all people, provided case studies and identified opportunities to help the community support the vision that the city is building by guiding attendees to imagine the possibilities beyond.Penalosa stressed that walking and cycling are not a frivolity – they should be safe and enjoyable for all.
Penalosa gave examples of the magic happening all over the world when cities open streets to prioritize people over cars. He challenged Phoenix to do that for one day a year, and then one week a year, indicating that a gradual shift in use and activation will lead to broader activation and acceptance by the community at large. According to Penalosa, “Phoenix is not unique. Change is hard everywhere. Because when you propose change, the CAVE people show up – Citizens Against Virtually Everything. To get things done, Phoenix needs champions for solutions.”
He encouraged residents to be brave and bold.
“[Multi-modal transportation] is also about social integration–meeting each other as equals. None of the solutions are technical or financial–they are political issues,” saidPenalosa. “It’s not about money. It is about priorities. We need to dignify pedestrians and cyclists so that people don’t feel like they are second-class citizens. It is about accommodating anyone that moves at the speed of the pedestrian. A civilized community is not the one where the poor have cars, it’s one where the rich use public transit.”
As Marian Wright Edelman, American activist, has said, “Service is the rent we pay for living.” Gould Evans + Canary joins Gil Penalosa in service toward a vibrant city.
Gould Evans + Canary would like to thank its event supporters who recognized the importance of having this discussion: APS, Arizona Forward, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Audubon, Chicanos por la Causa, Downtown Phoenix Inc., Espiritu, Friendly House, GRID Bickshare, Hustle PHX, Local First Arizona, Phoenix Revitalization Corp, Promise Arizona, Phoenix Community Alliance, Phoenix Spokes People, Raza Development Fund, South Central Collaborative, SoPho Convening, SRP, Tempe Bicycle Action Group, Uber, Vitalyst and the Phoenix Warehouse District Council.