Dedicated in April 2009, artist Janet Echelman’s iconic public art sculpture located in Civic Space Park is arguably the most aptly-named example of urban place-making and downtown revitalization. With nicknames that range from “The Giant Dreamcatcher” to “The Tornado,” the landmark artwork has drawn attention to a unique parcel of land that now plays host to concerts, art shows and outdoor movies.
Perhaps Echelman knew something we didn’t back at the start of the Great Recession. The secret to the success of Phoenix and the state of Arizona is to eschew the desire for immediate gratification and consider the value of patient, determined and bold planning for our future. Whether it is a culmination of a two-and-a-half-year planning effort to update the Phoenix General Plan, or the ongoing efforts to celebrate and support our rich and diverse local economy, Arizonans know the value of patience.
Transforming land formerly occupied by an automobile dealership and electrical equipment company required a bold vision and a fair amount of courage, particularly at a time when such investments in public planning were under attack across the country. This issue of ElevateAZ is dedicated to the bold thinkers, the transformers of our state who are leading with passion and patience.