01/16/2020Episode 35 – Tucson 2050 Pt1- Courtney Crosson
Webelo thanks for spending part of your brunch our with us on Downtown Radio Tucson’s Underground Station. Today is June 10th. My name is Tom Heath listening to Life along the streetcar this week. We discuss a recognizable but futuristic Tucson and we’re going to jump back in time almost a hundred years the first true each and every Sunday are focused on social cultural and economic impacts. In Tucson’s Urban core like to shed light on those hidden gems. Everyone should know about from a down the U of A and all stops you get the inside track right here on .1 FM streaming on Downtown Radio dot org also available using the tube.
You can reach us by e-mail at contact along. I’m sorry contact at life. Along the streetcar dot-org you can interact with us on Facebook at Life along the streetcar and a follow us on Twitter our handle there is at streetcar life.
Today we start with a weight problem.
Tucson meet yourself is an annual celebration of the living tradition Arts of southern Arizona’s and Northern Mexico’s diverse and ethnic and folk communities. The three-day event to Features hundreds of Artisans. There are Cooks dancers musicians in always some special exhibits this three-day event attracts upwards of a hundred and twenty thousand attendees each and every year. Well this year the festival is in October as always this States are the 12th through the 14th, but the location is changing just a little bit since its Inception in 1974 Tucson meet yourself or tmy has taken place at El Presidio Park and over the years has expanded across Church Street, and then on to hockney Plaza according to their recent press release. The festival is moving East and will take up much of Stone Avenue North of Congress. Now Hawk me Plaza will be the center of activity. At this point and with stone and church being blocked with barricades. It’s going to create that sort of downtown block party
feel. Well, the reason for this is quite simple. The festival is becoming too popular in 1974. TM wise humble beginnings. They don’t Presidio really perfect spot. But with the number of attendees growing each and every year as we mentioned the weight of the crowd poses a threat to the underground parking garage directly below. Moving it seems like the safe and wise thing to do now. There’s a cost involved with this and organizers are seeking a win-win solution to fund it. They found a way to build Auntie Em wise conscious effort to be a green events. That effort has so far included the U of A’s compost cats on hand throughout the festival dedicate the public on the best use of the recycling and compost bins. Decisions about what goes into the landfills and now this effort as of now and 2018 is going to extend to electronics. Tmy announced a new electronics recycling center. It’s a partnership with Suburban Miners and an entrepreneur are and Polly the new center will take telephones computers
monitors pretty much all your unwanted electronic gadgets and gizmos and their accessories. Now this is going to cut down on landfill waste and it’s also gonna provide the if an opportunity to turn those used electronics into a profitable Venture, of course privacy and data security are on the Forefront of consumers Minds. So the recycling centers website states that they do have options for hard drive destruction. If that’s something that you are concerned about and we’ll link to the festival and the recycling center in case you have any questions are looking for ways to go about donating your old electronics. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar on. Downtown Radio 99.1 FM Tucson and available for streaming from Downtown Radio dot-org Well, it’s hard to know what a community is willing to do to effect a change presumably we all want to live in a Tucson has ample water supply has reduced or zero Net Zero carbon emissions, but we currently disagree on how
we’re going to get to that state. So if we could all take a peek at the future and see a successful model in operation, it would be a lot easier to get a community on board and modify behaviors to achieve these outcomes. So would you personally be willing to Change your habits or pay a little more if you knew the outcome was worth it. Well, this is a question some U of a student’s may have an answer for us 11 students from the University of Arizona’s College of architecture planning and Landscape architecture. Then acronym is capla. They prepared a vision of what downtown Tucson could look like in the year 2050. They were tasked with answering key questions posed by Community mentors on how we might overcome challenges of growth. Specifically in areas of sustainability Transportation health and quality of life. The end product is something tangible in which we as a community can begin the conversation the vision includes a virtual reality experience on how a society could actually be functioning
in the year 2050. Well, the vision is part of a multi-year project in this year was prepared with the help of Professor Courtney crossin. They’re also six Community mentors and a sponsorship from GL h n An engineer’s why sat down with professor crosson and the interview was so good. We decided to take this into two parts. This week we’re going to discuss the overview of the project and how the students prepared for this process and next week. We’ll discuss their results
and I’m an assistant professor at the University of Arizona and at the School of Architecture, which is in the College of architecture planning and Landscape architecture Capilla. Okay, and we’re here today talking about a very specific project you work on your with your students with for this semester. Correct, correct? But it’s a multi-year project. So this is our second year of multiple years that will be offering this course. Okay, I didn’t realize it was your to this was what’s the official title of it? We’re calling it downtown Tucson 2050. Okay, and we’re thinking of it as a vision. Sometimes we use the word plan but I think the idea is less fixed and I’m planets really to inspire our community to think about what downtown could be in the year 2050. You can finish you’ve got this model out in very great detail and several places and you actually had a an open house. So to speak at the Chicago store the old JC Penney’s are had these huge images of people I would imagine got a good
glimpse of The depth of the work that you guys did. So with this project you’re looking at a section of Tucson in the year 2050 cracked and that section is what we refer to right now is downtown and extends from what are the boundaries on the part of the program. It includes basically caught the Congress area commercial area all the way out to the Mercado and it’s the same boundaries as downtown Tucson partnership uses and their strategic planning efforts to identify. Unify their area of operation that makes sense. And so what your students did is this was Year too. So take me back. What did you do in your one? Yeah. So first off, I just want to say Express appreciation for our sponsor. So the Studio’s actually this multi-year effort is sponsored by GL eaten Architects and Engineers. So it really started with them a few years ago Henry Johnstone president of G Legion. And our former Dean and our director of the School of Architecture, Robert Miller were having a conversation and we’re interested
in looking at downtown and some Eco District. When I this is my second year of being at University of Arizona, and when I came to campus I was linked up with steel Legion and given this seed of a project which was to look at at downtown in the year 2050 possibly is an Eco District. Oh, it started out with this idea of an Eco district. And now we’ve expanded out beyond that because we don’t want to just look at it as a underneath the banner of yeah, can you take a moment? What would an Eco District what exactly is that? So an Eco district is defined largely by it’s different than something like lead. If you’re aware of that. That’s that goes through your us Green Building Council. It’s a certification process a certification process right Sonique. Script is like that it’s certified but unlikely that has a set checklist where you get a certain number of points there pre-allocated. The Eco District process is is a process and of itself. It’s interesting engaging different community members
in coming up with metrics and a vision for what they want their Community to be and then and then they come up with basically a program to implement that so you can District there’s ones in Seattle there’s ones He’s in San Francisco Washington DC. They can look all very different but they’re usually and in places that are focused on transitory and Development Center in Furman environments and so on as this project has grown its go outside of just that model to look at more of a holistic approach to the city. Correct. We didn’t we don’t want to be defined only by this idea of Eco District. We really wanted to make sure that all community members felt like A place at the table in the discussion, even though those ones that weren’t just interested in sustainability, but at the core of the project is really this idea of a sustainable future. So the project goals are carbon neutrality energy Net Zero Energy Net Zero Water by the year 2050 and you succeeded. Yeah. Yeah, we sincere. Ethically
we succeeded correct based upon the technology that exists or did you have to make some assumptions about technology? It largely is based on technology that exists. I would say all the the water plan is based on technology that exists and the only thing different about the energy plan is it’s assuming that batteries are a little bit cheaper and more robust in the future. And so you had a group of students working on this project this semester. We had 11 students wonderful our Bachelor of architecture fourth-year students very skilled and industrious students. And they were each assigned that category. So we broke downtown into looking at plan Tucson actually tend to sounds broken up into four different environments the natural environment the built environment the social environment in the economic environment. So we came up with 11 categories that span those for so everything from small businesses to large business to non-motorized and motorized transportation to housing and so the students
each took one of these categories, so Evan was in charge of housing for example, so he did all the research on different types of housing in Tucson. Then he came up with the typology. So we came up with a typology of single-family homes
throughout a midsize duplex and then larger multi complex housing and so he mapped currently. We’re in Tucson. He’s not the square footage of these three different type ologies. And so to get back to the energy and water and and we did waste as well question. Then we took National averages of energy use water use and waste for this different square footages and then multiply the mountain we did that with all 11 categories and then came up with a total energy current energy use water use and waste reduction for downtown currently there were advisors at Working with them on the project. Yeah. So Julie Chen is the sponsor of the project and then we had another category which were Community mentors. And so these were five actually ended up being six people from staff from the city and county. They’re separate from from glh in but Julie Chen Henry’s very involved thought leadership in the project and and then the students then were assigned two of them. They were broken out into pairs after
they This research on the categories, so to continue with housing housing and non-motorized transportation were paired together and then they worked with people from the county and their Department of Transportation and the community Mentor then posed a question to the student for the year 2050. So we’ve the question for them was how will non Transit oriented development and Power livability in the year 2050 something like this. This then the students would take the questions. So there’s these five different questions. And so another one was focused on Art and public health and they were paired with Julie Robinson from Pima County. She’s a manager of sustainable programs there and she posed a question about health in the year 2050. Then the next step was to create a typology like other students at the See you make a thesis question, right? And then you write a few sure to respond to that and you come up with different examples to prove out your thesis. So in design with the students did
was basically designed prototypical pieces to answer the question. For example, they had a prototypical pieces housing and non-motorized transportation. They looked at smaller neighborhoods and slowing down transportation and adding protected bike Lanes the the group that did Art and public health had a prototypical piece that dealt with homeless services that brought us into midterm of the semester. And then from there they were then broken into three different subjects tricks and then they are there is also an infrastructure group. So then the idea was to take these prototypical pieces that were answering these questions posed by Community mentors and deploy them in different parts of downtown. And so the three areas we looked at were the Mercado and and that was led by housing and non-motorized transportation TCC Tucson Convention Center. That was led by the public health and arts group and then Congress which was led by the historic adaptive reuse group with small and large business
and they and then they took their prototypical pieces and implemented them. Arlene also from their classmates and then they flushed out these in rendering they saw this sort of glassy visions of the future, right? So that that was are working past. You got 11 students working in this project, correct? Yeah, how many of them were from Tucson? You know? Yeah, I believe we had two and one was from Nogales. So if you want to include him as well and in the Tucson area, so most of the students were not front they were not born and raised in to correctly. The people from Pittsburgh who grew up in Pittsburgh. We had someone who grew up in Navajo Nation. We had someone from up in Seattle area. So all across the country. The reason I ask that is in China as well. I think we have international students as well. Yeah, the renderings that came out of this were futuristic, but they were they were relatable. You could see Tucson in 50 years it Wasn’t something that was born to me as I looked at it. I
was wondering if this thing they have seen a lot of the culture. They didn’t have the Rialto Theater and I was happy to see Kathleen Madigan is still performing in the year for may be happy but they really pulled in you could see the iconic pieces of the Mercado the TC Sherry in Congress. I was wondering if they’ve grown up with that but it’s interesting to see that they picked that out as part of the research. Well, they’ve been living here for four years. I hope you saw one of my favorite ones is One of the existing murals in downtown Tucson and then they had this new mural of a robot and sort of I miss the new image. It’s the mural that’s on the Benjamin Supply Warehouse, right? Exactly. Yeah, and this the robot have to go back and kind of look at that one. Yeah, we had any it’s a big question. Right and I think really important to architecture students. How do you Vision Vision the future is it in sometimes the future can seem very close at hand or you can imagine it. Very very far
into the future with a lot of sophisticated technology. I think what was important for us was that it was relatable, right? So we didn’t want people to be distracted by a lot of robots on the street or things that were sort of gimmicks of the future rather than relatable Human Experience of Tucson’s so it was I’m glad you right it’s all that and it was something that we certainly worked at and where there are surprises were there. They thought they were going to get to that they didn’t or things turned out differently than they expected. I think a lot of yeah, I think for our students so doing with the fourth year the part in the curriculum where these students these 11 students were up until this point. They’ve they come from comprehensive building design. So they haven’t ever really worked at an urban scale before. So a lot of things were brand new to them and I think for them it was really exciting to be able to work at a scale that dealt with Transportation. So there’s A lot of things
on autonomous vehicles right and figuring out what roadways might look like in the future. I think that was brand new to them thinking about Transportation or how you integrate bicycles. I think some of them hadn’t really thought about it that deeply before I know homelessness was a big issue in the TCC group and I was really impressed with their sensitivity and thoughtfulness as they approach these issues and I think also the community mentors helped a lot, right? I mean the community mentors are people who’ve worked at the city and the county a long time and so they were just really generous with their time and willing to engage with his students and help them think through these problems. The other thing about the community mentors that I’ll say is they’re all non Architects. So up until this point and our curriculum students have really been just dealing with Architects like myself, you know, so they’re Architects teaching Architects when in reality as Channels, so these students will
be you know in the prime of their career in 2050. There’s clients aren’t going to be other Architects. Their clients are going to be the people at the city and the county or people like yourselves. I mean great varieties. So I think I think it was it’s been really exciting and important to the students were think happy to be able to claim command over their discipline, but also learn a lot more in be stretched in ways that like, you said, Maybe they didn’t had an expected going into it.
So, you know want to tune in next week to hear the rest of this interview and understand what this process created as far as a vision. We’re going to put a link on Facebook to the the report there so you can get a head start if you’d like to but hearing Professor Crossing walk through that next week. I think it’s going to be very very interesting. We’re also going to have on that show interview we did with one of the community mentors Jason La Rosa’s these with TP now, but at the time was with the city and he’ll bring to this competition. Relation, the professional perspective of what this Vision means for a community like ours and whether it’s a fantasy or it really is a potential reality for for Tucson. Of course, you can hear all of Professor Crossings interview today and we’ll link to the details of their research on our Facebook page right after the show and that’s Facebook page is Life along the streetcar.
Well, let’s see here moving into our next feature. Considered by many to be the first true horror film The Cabinet of dr. Caligari a film from 1920 exists as the quintessential definitive piece of German expressionist. Cinema its visual style is the Pinnacle of the genre with its crooked backdrops harsh lines painted shadows and surreal nature permeating every scene. That is the quote on the screening rooms website about the movie they’re showing tonight. So Julie OS calendar opened the screening room in 1989 as an incubator for independent filmmakers and over the years has had a few different operators and in 2017. It came to an abrupt halt. Well, the Hiatus is over and the screening room is once again serving the community. You may remember we reported from the Arizona International Film Festival, which was held there in a Bro, and now back to its roots of showing independent non mainstream and documentary film options. So the new operator is David Pike who has a long history in Tucson’s
film scene and is also a longtime employee of the screening room itself. Pike was a programmer at the screening room for years. He has also run the Arizona underground Film Festival, which is regarded as one of the most recognized cult film festivals in the country. And Pike curates the annual Tucson Tara Fest Which is far as I’m aware is the only really horror film festival here in Southern Arizona. Well, we hope to have David on the show soon. We have spoken with him and there’s interest so we’ll get him on here. We like to find out about the screening room and the impacts in our community from this. From this theater in downtown and we’ll put some links there to the screening rooms page in case you want to go check out tonight’s film or anything that’s upcoming here at the screening room. My name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar on 99.1 FM available for streaming on Downtown Radio dot-org. So coming up on life along the streetcar. We’re going to have our
Back to the Future Part 2. So today we heard Professor Krauss and talk about the students the task and the process and next week. She’ll provide us with the results the vision and what really comes next for this multi-year project. We’re also going to hear from Jason laros one of the community of mentors who advised the group and posed questions for the students to answer as part of their research later in. You know, we’re going to jump to the fox and see how this Theater built in 1934 is holding up Craig Sundberg is the executive director of the fox foundation and he sat down with us to chat about the history and the upcoming season, which he says is the biggest that he has seen in his tenure at the theater and it isn’t even fully complete yet. So he’s pretty excited about what’s coming down the road here for entertainment at the Fox Theater. Well, as always the interviews with our guests the links to our research everything we cover today is going to be on Facebook right after the show.
We want to thank you again for spending some of your time here with us today on Downtown Radio. If you’ve got a social media group or account that’s focused on the urban core. Share with us. We’d like to know what’s going on and connect with others that are
having similar interests here in our community. Give me comments questions or
concerns. You can always reach us by email contact at Life along the streetcar
dot-org on Facebook and on Twitter at streetcar life. So we’re leaving you today with music from Linda Journey, which is another great artist who calls Tucson home. She’s out on tour right now, but we’ve got
some music from her too. 2005 album one kiss
at a time. Here’s constant. I hope you have a great week and turn the next Sunday for more like