“Maryvale One Square Mile Initiative” works to provide community-based solutions

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The “Maryvale One Square Mile Initiative” aims to support neighborhood-driven solutions within a focused area of the west-side Phoenix community. We learned more about the project from Erik Cole, Director of ASU’s Design Studio for Community Solutions.

“We’re a place based initiative and it’s really focused on trying to do comprehensive, engagement with the community and our whole approach is learning from and listening to the community and really putting community members, community based organizations at the center of solutions,” Cole said.

These solutions relate to the challenges the community is facing within Maryvale.

Phoenix has 13 villages and Maryvale is the largest and the most populated with over 200,000 people.

This initiative focuses on two areas within this community, the Cartwright School District and the Isaac Elementary School District.

These districts were chosen because they utilized an analysis of where the demographics pointed to the lowest income levels but also where there were community assets and community organizations that would be ready to engage.

“Overall Maryvale’s annual income for community members is around $30,000 whereas across Maricopa County its around $70,000 so significantly lower income,” Cole said.

This community has several individuals coming from out of the country and many from the Latinx community and, “we find it to be a very vibrant community with some great opportunities,” Cole said.

“We’re going to take on all of the issues…we’re going to work on kind of what the community prioritizes,” Cole said.

Erik Cole, Director, ASU Design Studio for Community Solutions

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