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"Moving Forward: Developing our Community Today, for Tomorrow"

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Civic engagement is often defined as political activism; to be a part of governmental decision making, the practices thereof, and various efforts of participation in voting. However, civic engagement is also known for its role within non-political work, such as

Civic engagement is often defined as political activism; to be a part of governmental decision making, the practices thereof, and various efforts of participation in voting. However, civic engagement is also known for its role within non-political work, such as community building and development. Because of the former definition many members of our society have a tendency to not embrace the full potential of their community roles. It is always about who is a Republican, who is a Democrat, who looks better, or who has a better name. Now it must be noted that this is not in absolute, not all members of our society work in this thought process, but many still do. If that doesn't come as a surprise to you, then the simplicity of how you can be an engaged member will. As a student attending Arizona State University at the West campus in Phoenix, Arizona, I have chosen to challenge the traditional view of civic engagement and prepare this development plan for the campus community. Having done so, I not only discovered the paths that one can take to be engaged in such matters, but also continued my role as a civil servant.

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2015-05

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Sustainable urban development and the political economy of growth in Phoenix, Arizona

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Sustainable development in an American context implies an ongoing shift from quantitative growth in energy, resource, and land use to the qualitative development of social-ecological systems, human capital, and dense, vibrant built environments. Sustainable urban development theory emphasizes locally and

Sustainable development in an American context implies an ongoing shift from quantitative growth in energy, resource, and land use to the qualitative development of social-ecological systems, human capital, and dense, vibrant built environments. Sustainable urban development theory emphasizes locally and bioregionally emplaced economic development where the relationships between people, localities, products, and capital are tangible to and controllable by local stakeholders. Critical theory provides a mature understanding of the political economy of land development in capitalist economies, representing a crucial bridge between urban sustainability's infill development goals and the contemporary realities of the development industry. Since its inception, Phoenix, Arizona has exemplified the quantitative growth paradigm, and recurring instances of land speculation, non-local capital investment, and growth-based public policy have stymied local, tangible control over development from Phoenix's territorial history to modern attempts at downtown revitalization. Utilizing property ownership and sales data as well as interviews with development industry stakeholders, the political economy of infill land development in downtown Phoenix during the mid-2000s boom-and-bust cycle is analyzed. Data indicate that non-local property ownership has risen significantly over the past 20 years and rent-seeking land speculation has been a significant barrier to infill development. Many speculative strategies monopolize the publicly created value inherent in zoning entitlements, tax incentives and property assessment, indicating that political and policy reforms targeted at a variety of governance levels are crucial for achieving the sustainable development of urban land. Policy solutions include reforming the interconnected system of property sales, value assessment, and taxation to emphasize property use values; replacing existing tax incentives with tax increment financing and community development benefit agreements; regulating vacant land ownership and deed transfers; and encouraging innovative private development and tenure models like generative construction and community land trusts.

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2013