Building an entire city would be pretty rad. The one million people who bought the latest city-building video game, Cities: Skylines, in the past month probably agree. If only constructing a perfect metropolis in real life were as simple as a few mouse clicks. Of course, that's not the case. But the time and effort that go into creating a city like Phoenix give it history, community, and culture. And that's pretty rad, too.
Starting April 18, Phoenix Urban Design Week 2015 is going to amp up the love for the Valley by delving into what makes Phoenix the city it is -- and how it could change for the better.
With a full week of events ranging from tours of historic buildings to an über-competitive Pinewood derby, it may be hard to decide what events you don't want to miss. Lucky for you, we've laid them all out in our guide to PUDW 2015.
The week kicks off on Saturday April 18, from 8 a.m. to noon with Build + Create + Beautify, a morning of community beautification service. Volunteers will start out the morning by building picnic tables and front porch stoops at the CPLC Pickle House, 1401 East Van Buren. Then they'll team up with the local chapter of AIGA graphic designers to create a typography installation on the chain-link fence in the parking lot. To register for this free event, visit www.handsongreaterphoenix.org. People of all ages are welcome at the event, but volunteers much be 12 or older.
Later that day, join other bike lovers and Phoenix Spokes People during the Bikeshare + Lightrail + Adventure from 1 to 4 p.m. Meet at the Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue GRID bike station, grab your GRID bike, get your clues, and go explore the city. Tickets for this event are free but limited to 35 riders over the age of 16, so register soon at eventbrite.com.
On Sunday, April 19, during Bikes + Film + Conversation, Phoenix storyteller Brandon Ferderer will lead a "Path Less Taken" bike tour starting at 9 a.m. at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. The tour will end back at FilmBar and a showing of Maker, a film about the maker movement, will begin at 12:30 p.m. To register, visit thefilmbarphx.com. Tickets are $15.
Check out a special Meet Me Downtown social walk/run by maker-friendly spaces on Monday, April 20, at The Corner at CityScape, 50 West Jefferson Street. Check-in is between 5:15 and 6:30 p.m. Register for this free event at www.meetmedowntownphx.com. Then at 7 p.m., head to Lab, 818 North Central Avenue, for Posters + Short Talks where you'll see a gallery of posters from ASU's graduate graphic design students and hear from local urban design entrepreneurs on everything from innovative projects to new residential renovation models. For tickets ($10), visit eventbrite.com.
RADIATE PHOENIX + DINNER is for adults only on Tuesday, April 21. April's RadiatePHX event will focus on urban parks and placemaking. Meet at The Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 North Third Avenue for this free event. Check out the Facebook page for more information and to RSVP. Continue the conversation at FEZ on Central's new location, 105 West Portland Street. A group reservation will be made, but guests will be billed individually.
Start your Wednesday morning with a little urban history during Morning + Tour + Buildings. PUDW is teaming up with Reinvent Phoenix for April's Building Mornings event. Guests will have th eopportunity to explore the Luhrs City Center, 11 West Jefferson, while considering the significance of the building's architecture. The event is free but limited to adults only.
New York's Public Displays of Affection co-directors Sarah Sandman and Jill Allyn Peterson will lead a lecture on bridging the gap between graphic design and public space during Detail + Design + Public Displays Of Affection. The event is free and open to guests of all ages. The lecture goes from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, at The Design School at ASU, 810 South Forest Mall in Tempe.
Learn how Phoenix makes rainwater give back to the city during Sustainability + Water + Walking led by landscape and architecture experts Roger Socha and Todd Briggs of TRUEFORM. The walking tour starts goes from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at the South Court Tower of Maricopa County Superior Court Building, 175 West Madison Street. Tickets are $10, and there is a limited capacity so sign up soon at eventbrite.com.
Right afterward, hurry over to the Ro2 Lot, 1005 North Second Street for Architecture + Placemaking + Taliesin from 5 to 7 p.m. Aaron Betsky, Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture will lead a discussion about placemaking, architecture, and environmental design. The reception and talk is free and open to guests of all ages.
Head back to the newly beautified CPLC Pickle House, 1401 East Van Buren, for dinner, drinks, and a one-of-a-kind bus tour during Makers + Dinner + Tour on Friday, April 24, from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Have some drinks then hop on the bus to take a tour of maker spaces, meeting the people helping to make Phoenix a focal point in the national maker community. Plus, enjoy local food and drinks throughout the night. Tickets for this adult-only event are $55 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. There is a limited number available so book soon.
Three words: Mobile bike garden. These exist and local landscape designer Beth Johannessen will be teaching guests how to make them at Gardens + Bikes + Brunch on Saturday, April 25, starting at 9 a.m. The workshop is $30 per person, which includes plants, supplies, tools, brunch, and refreshments. Bring your own bike, lock, water bottle, and cleaned 28 oz cans. Meet at the CPLC Pickle House once again and purchase tickets at eventbrite.com.
Phoenix Urban Design Week 2015 closes out with nothing else but The Pinewood Classic , Phoenix's most competitive pinewood derby, during Cars + Competition + Craft Beers. All the spots for racers have been filled, but adults can still cheer on your favorite tiny car at Short Leash Sit...Stay, 110 East Roosevelt Street, starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.
For more information about all the Phoenix Urban Design Week events and to purchase tickets, visit phxudw.org.