The mission of Phoenix
MetroWeb is twofold:
The City as Classroom: Rapidly growing metro Phoenix is a living,
experiential laboratory in which to study the dynamics of urban proceses,
social patterns, and everyday cultural practices.
The Phoenix MetroWeb portal enhances knowledge about the urban
culture, social space, and built environment of the larger metropolitan
community served by ASU. This hosting space serves as an instructional
tool for ASU West students and faculty. It is also a digital database
to make information about Phoenx accessible to the larger community. Instructional
Internet technology encourages students from all majors to actively participate
in producing knowledge about their community. It also enables students
to share their research and writings with each other, the community, urban
researchers, and the world at large. This interface among students, faculty,
community, and a global audience makes Phoenix MetroWeb a teaching
mode that encourages students to be active and critically engaged within
their metropolitan community.
Urban Scholarship and Insight: Insights
of interdisciplinary urban scholarship contribute to the documentation
of knowledge about the Phoenix metropolitan area. The results of this
research can reverberate back to urban scholarship.
Phoenix MetroWeb serves as an open-access platform to stimulate research,
scholarship, and creative activities dedicated to critical understanding
of urban processes, the built environment, and social-spatial practices
that shape metropolitan Phoenix. MetroWeb materials will redress
the remarkable deficit of critical research and discursive representations
about Phoenix, which is now a contender for prominence among the top cities
of the United States. At the same time, through MetroWeb, urban
insights gathered from Phoenix will contribute to the nationally and internationally
vibrant, broadly interdisciplinary field of metropolitan studies.
Rapid growth of the
Phoenix desert metropolis has poised the city to overtake Philadelphia
as the fifth most populous city in the United States. The Phoenix population
is still growing steadily. Its increasing Latino presence represents a
challenge to the city's historically dominant Anglo
leadership. The sprawling, built environment in Phoenix takes a form that
defies conventional modernist conceptions of the city. Phoenix's transnational
linkages increasingly sustain--and make vulnerable--its economic foundations.
The collection of "edge cities" that comprise greater metropolitan
Phoenix occupies more square miles than even Los Angeles. The results
are key public policy challenges that pertain to planning, coordination,
and control of the metro area's rapid growth, consequences for sustainable
economic development, and the impact of growth on the quality of life.
Equitable integration into the city's fabric of an economically and ethnically
diverse population of migrants--from other parts of the United States,
as well as transnational immigrants and refugees--is also a major policy
Phoenix history and
urban dynamics are not well documented by social scientists and appear
less frequently in literary, cinematic, and other cultural representations
than other key U.S. cities. Its rapid growth during a period of global,
national, and regional restructuring that is characterized by intensive
mobility of capital, labor, people, and cultures, makes it a city that
can potentially yield rich insights into the impact of these transformations
upon urban processes, built form, social-spatial patterns, urban experience
Phoenix MetroWeb will make a particular effort to contrbute to the
understanding of urban issues of a broad scope and global scale. It will
also serve as a digital archive and database collection of original Phoenix
social and cultural research.
Initially its contents will include:
Students' original research and creative activities, prepared as assignments
for urban studies classes in the social sciences as well as the arts
Working papers by researchers, community practitioners, and experts;
Galleries of digitized photographs, images, and maps;
Multimedia productions and interviews;
Cumulative bibliography of relevant references cited by contributors
and linked to online sources when available.
By making this research and analysis available to the broader community,
Phoenix MetroWeb extends instruction beyond the university classroom.
The open-access web portal potentially broadens democratization of the
university's educational mission. Integration of critical urban theory
with community-generated knowledge about and interpretation of the local
urban community will enable a broader audience to effectively ask questions
and evaluate concerns about the city.
Phoenix MetroWeb eventually will include dynamic, interactive
web capabilites to allow individuals to access and evaluate materials
and add their own information as well. MetroWeb invites anyone
with expertise in this type of web development to contribute and become
a collaborator in this project.