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Phoenix, Arizona: Civic Space Park

City: Phoenix
Country / US State / US Territory: Arizona
Type of Solution: Park
Climate Impact: Extreme Temperatures and Urban Heat Island Effect; Air Quality; Extreme Precipitation and Flooding
Social Value Created: Public Space; Social Cohesion; Diverse Transportation; Connectivity; Active Living and Recreation; Arts and Culture

Phoenix, Arizona is a classic example of urban sprawl. The city is already facing issues with extreme temperatures, which is further amplified by the urban heat island effect. Civic Space Park is a 2.7 acre park located in Phoenix that includes green space with trees to mitigate extreme temperatures and provide shade for residents. Solar panels producing 75 kilowatts of renewable energy provide additional shade. Also, the green infrastructure improves stormwater management, which is helpful during monsoon season.

Not only is the park helpful in managing climate risks, but the park is a public space contributing the social cohesion and providing a number of other social benefits. The park features a number of artistic featurings, including a nighttime lighting show simulating lightning during a monsoon and an art installation, titled, “Her Secret is Patience.” This title arose from a phase used by Ralph Waldo Emerson that was inspired by elements of Arizona nature. There is also an interactive water feature, providing a playspace for children and adults.

The park promotes recreation and leisure, providing a turf landscape in the southwest corner of the park with pedestrian-scale retaining walls, game tables, benches, and densely spaced shade trees. The site is also located adjacent to the METRO Light Rail, increasing access to the park through improved connectivity and promoting diverse transportation.

Fig: Birds eye view of Civic Space Park (Photo retrieved from http://worldlandscapearchitect.com/civic-space-park-phoenix-usa-aecom/#.W1HvvdJKiUk)

Fig: LED lights with nighttime lighting show (Photo retrieved from http://worldlandscapearchitect.com/civic-space-park-phoenix-usa-aecom/#.W1HvvdJKiUk)

Fig: Interactive water feature with the “Her Secret is Patience” art installation above (Image retrieved from http://worldlandscapearchitect.com/civic-space-park-phoenix-usa-aecom/#.W1HvvdJKiUk)

Source: AECOM. (July 23, 2013). Civic Space Park, Phoenix USA. World Landscape Architecture. Retrieved from

*Note: This case was documented from an interview with a city practitioner.