Phoenix MetroWeb
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mission       rationale


The mission of Phoenix MetroWeb is twofold:

1. 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.

2. 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 challenge.

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 and identities.

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 and humanities;

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.

Phoenix MetroWeb

is a Web portal developed at Arizona State University West to host interdisciplinary social and cultural research about greater metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona.


MetroWeb was conceived by Kristin Koptiuch, Associate Professor of Anthropologyg

and designed using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX.y

Parts of the site design were inspired by ELATED PageKits © 2002



This site is under development. For submissions, comments, volunteer assistance, or other inquiries contact:


©2004 Kristin Koptiuch
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