James Gardner

James is a graduate student in Urban and Environmental Planning at Arizona State University. Growing up in a small, sprawling town in Arizona, James became attracted to the field of planning and design by taking a critical look at his surroundings, and realizing there is a better way to live. With a Bachelors in Public Planning from Northern Arizona University, James has received extensive education in planning, and has worked as a Planner for Yavapai County, Arizona. James is currently focused on the health effects of the built environment in the Phoenix Metro area, and the integration of this focus into topics of transit, transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian planning. James hopes to become a Planner who advocates for a healthier built environment in order to make the cities we live in more vibrant and habitable. James blogged for the Grid with a focus on Phoenix, Arizona projects.

A Farewell To The Grid and Global Site Plans, From James Gardner

by James Gardner

As a long time aspiring blogger, The Grid has been my first opportunity to grow my writing skills; and from the inception of our relationship, I have appreciated the persistent encouragement and feedback. From the onset ... Read article

Can Complete Streets Compete in Phoenix?

by James Gardner

Complete streets accommodate all varieties of transportation: from cars, to buses, to bikes, to pedestrians, to those in a wheelchair or even roller skaters. But they are sparse in Phoenix, Arizona. Complete streets dema... Read article

Infill and Adaptive Reuse in Phoenix, Arizona

by James Gardner

The American dream of homeownership (that picket fence, the half-acre lot) has been embedded in our consciousness for decades, and no more so than in cities like Phoenix, Arizona. The problem with this vision is that it ... Read article

Book Review of "Architecture Without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture" by Bernard Rudosky

by James Gardner

Without the usual fashion cycles of period architecture, vernacular architecture remains, as always, “immutable, indeed, unimprovable, since it serves its purpose to perfection” -  or so Bernard Rudofsky, author of "Arch... Read article

Historic Preservation Groups in Phoenix Save Buildings, Liven Up Community

by James Gardner

Phoenix, Arizona has earned a reputation as a city of endless stucco boxes, but what many don’t know is that it is actually a city filled with diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. There are dozens of historic neighborhoods... Read article

Vibrant Arts Community Brings Thousands to Downtown Phoenix

by James Gardner

The streets came alive on April 13th, 2013 as thousands of people flooded 1st Street to partake in the inaugural Feast on the Street, hosted by Arizona State University’s Art Museum and Roosevelt Row Community Deve... Read article

Debate Continues Over Sustainability of Phoenix, Arizona

by James Gardner

In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness, predicted a bleak climate future for Phoenix, Arizona. He explained that a heat island effect has been created by an overly co... Read article

Phoenix, Arizona Innovates with Crowdsourced Planning via "MyPlanPHX"

by James Gardner

For the first time since 2002, the City of Phoenix, Arizona is undergoing a General Plan Update. The current plan is being updated in order to comply with Arizona state statutes, particularly the Growing Smarter Act, ... Read article

“Reinvent Phoenix” Seeks to Cultivate Change Along Phoenix’s Light Rail Corridor

by James Gardner

Phoenix, Arizona is infamous for its sprawl, its little stucco boxes, and its dominant car culture. But an ambitious project spearheaded by the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University (ASU), and St. Luke’s Health Initi... Read article

Phoenix Metro Area Plans for Transit Oriented Developments

by James Gardner

Phoenix, Arizona has been making changes from its suburban, single story, sprawling past. The inception of Phoenix’s , light-rail system, METRO, has acted as a catalyst for the proliferation of transit oriented develo... Read article

City of Phoenix, Arizona Fills Its Sprawling Streets with Bus Transit

by James Gardner

Phoenix, Arizona is extremely auto-dependent, in part because of its low-density urban design and its vast road networks. The city must realize that light-rail will not serve all of the neighborhoods in greatest... Read article

Tempe, Arizona Struggles to Provide Vast Bicycle Infrastructure

by James Gardner

Urban planning officials in Tempe, Arizona are striving to keep pace with cyclists in town. According to a report by the League of American Bicyclists, an advocacy group that grants communities the title of Bicycle... Read article

Is Phoenix Catching Up to its Counterparts in the Transportation Game?

by James Gardner

The Phoenix Metro area has seen a steady increase in ridership on the Valley Metro Light Rail.The surge in riders to almost 50,000 a day has prompted Phoenix Metropolitan area policymakers to accelerate the engineeri... Read article