Lessons learned

As a director of the Urban Land Institute’s Arizona office, Kristen Busby talks to her counterparts around the country. The subject of the Sustainable Communities Collaborative comes up regularly. Two years ago, it was featured for the 12,000 attendees of the Transportation Research Board conference in Washington, D.C. “People all over the country look to […]

It would have been heresy to suggest narrowing a street

Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher thinks back two decades to when he joined the city as a management intern. “It would have been heresy to suggest narrowing a street,” he says. The opening of Chase Field in 1998 is a prime example. Leaders worried that people would be trapped in congestion after games. “The idea […]

The amazement has not faded

Six years later, Tommy Espinoza’s amazement has not faded. The CEO of Phoenix-based Raza Development Fund recalls the press conference when the Sustainable Communities Collaborative was announced. “I was blown away because every mayor was there. So were council members and elected officials from each city.” That was the plan. The Collaborative’s founders knew lasting […]

Each has a success story

Matt Seaman has lived in downtown Phoenix for two decades. For years he would pass the vacant lot at Roosevelt Street and First Avenue and shake his head. First Avenue forked, with one branch sweeping over to Central Avenue and the other dead-ending at Roosevelt. The result: a perfectly good piece of land was split […]

An audacious premise

The Sustainable Communities Collaborative began with an audacious premise. In a culture that emphasizes competition, it would ask people to set aside their self-interest and work toward a common goal. It would bring diverse interests into the room and ask them to share ideas, stretch beyond where they were comfortable and accept that getting less […]