Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How Can We Grow?

There's been a lot of discussion in the past (and present) about what additional amenities Laveen and south Phoenix need and how the city might help us get there -- or in many cases, how the city has perhaps failed to help in a meaningful way. In conjunction with my previous post regarding the MyPlanPHX website, I'd like to make a proposal as to how we can step forward with meaningful progress at the city level utilizing existing city staff and departmental resources.

First, it's important to note that this website serves all of Phoenix and a great number of active contributors are from other areas -- heavily weighted toward downtown and midtown from what I've noticed (take a look at the charts I posted -- mostly familiar names from CenPho). Those folks are facing some of the same issues as us, but often from a slightly different angle. This means we can likely get them on our side in many ways that we may not have previously thought possible.

Prominent Laveen resident Erika K (you all likely know her from our FB group) submitted a plan back in August, titled "Marketing the City of Phoenix", which has picked up a great deal of support and generated a lot of discussion recently. Erika's concern is that our city is not proactively getting the word out about some of our greatest assets, and that the city's various campaigns are all too often uncoordinated. I think we can all share that frustration at times, especially when it seems that our part of town is all too often overlooked for new city-backed initiatives that involve economic development. If you agree, then please go read through Erika's proposal and the discussion that follows. Perhaps then you will feel inclined to second it.

As for me, I've chimed in a couple of ideas for citywide initiatives that I think would really help take this notion a step further. We need to not only create the outward-focused marketing materials, but also shift gears elsewhere to show our complete commitment to making this a reality. Here's my comment on Erika's recommendation (which includes links to a few more ideas):

What if we implemented a plan to take a more holistic view of economic development and dispersed it throughout many city departments, while providing central oversight? Here's a plan that I submitted a while back:http://www.myplanphx.com/shaping-phoenix-s-future/let-s-modernize-and-decentralize-economic-development

Also, I'd love to see the planning department work with our community and economic development department to highlight specific business opportunities based on zoning, proximal uses, etc. While it's part of the recommendation for our light rail, this could work throughout the city. Here's that proposal:http://www.myplanphx.com/what-new-destinations-are-needed-along-the-light-rail-corridor-where/business-opportunity-mapping

And finally, as a focusing measure to work on behalf of each village or other geographic area of our city, I strongly recommend business incubators:http://www.myplanphx.com/shaping-phoenix-s-future/business-incubators

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