So, there has been quite a buzz about a blog post written in the Downtown Devil this past week about the great divide in downtown Phoenix. With thousands of students now attending class downtown, there still seems to be a large disconnect between ASU, students, and the surrounding community fabric that has struggled to wrap itself around an identity for years.
While many of us had hoped for the area to finally begin to fight the chicken and the egg problems that have crippled many a business, there is apparently a lot of work still to be done. This is the first I have heard, in great detail, about the student disconnect downtown. While I am a big fan of downtown Phoenix and some of the cool things happening down there, I live in Tempe and don’t frequent the area as much as I would like.
Vaughn Hillyard’s article talks about the downtown campus, the lack of community partnerships and a lot of other very interesting topics. Starting off, we hear about the “helicopter parents” that appear to be close-minded and may want little Johnny or sweet Suzy to stay close to home without venturing out into the big-bad city. Venturing out is exactly what the author appears to believe is necessary for real growth.
To me, the article has a lot of interesting topics. The community aspect of it, politics, business, students, they all are part of what is and is not happening in the area. For years, I have been talking to people making things happen downtown, and I do believe a lot of positive change has occurred.
“College towns around the country are centered on partnerships between universities and local shops, eateries and entertainment. Downtown ASU has not built these partnerships — at all.” – Vaughn Hillyard Downtown Devil.
The article mentions the fact that people believe ASU is partly to blame for at least one horrible death in the immediate area, maybe more. When we hear of economic development, huge light rail ridership numbers for METRO, and about many of the other positive things happening, it’s easy to forget that challenges still exist.
The “pic of the week” this week is a shot from the 2009 commencement at ASU in Tempe where President Obama brought huge crowds. I was reminded of this photo as I read about these helicopter parents. Apparently, there is still a lot more change coming to the downtown Phoenix campus.
Remember, Rail Life has a Phoenix Light Rail Group on Flickr. Basically, we want to share some of our pictures from the community and allow people to add their pics (or videos), as well. These can be light rail related, but we also want pics or videos of your favorite spot, restaurant, sports team, community, event etc.