A new downtown public space uniting a university and the community

Civic Space Park brings diverse community members together in a sustainable open space shared by Arizona State University (ASU) and residents of downtown Phoenix. The place was named for its intention to create a civic amenity, not just a public park, where local residents and office workers interact with university students. This goal was embodied in the design and development process, which was the result of a public-private partnership between the city and ASU as part of a larger plan to expand ASU facilities and revitalize downtown.

The symbolic naming, Civic Space Park, suggests strongly the intention to create a park that is a true public amenity.

2011 Selection Committee

The 2.77-acre site sits in the heart of a downtown district that was underdeveloped and pocketed with blight. The $34 million park features extensive lawns, shaded areas, performance venues, and a restored historic building with spaces for civic, educational, and social meetings. Environmentally conscious elements include photo-voltaic panels on shade structures, permeable paving, underground retention tanks for storm drainage, energy-efficient lighting, and large-scale tree planting to ensure that within 10 years 70% of the park will be shaded by trees. Fountains and sculptures—including the park’s signature piece, which “floats” above the park and is illuminated at night—add to the park’s draw, and the project has helped stimulate considerable development in the area.