Hailed as one of central-city Phoenix’s leading thinkers, Edward Jensen is a dedicated champion for urban causes and midtown Phoenix. He leads his eponymous firm, Edward Jensen urban productions, whose work helps individuals and organizations advance our community through an emphasis on communication, technology, design, arts, and the urban form. Initiatives of the firm have included The Downtown Phoenix Podcast, a critically acclaimed program that created spacious conversation on issues important to urban civics, as well as other urban programs and central-city initiatives.
In 2019, Mr. Jensen delivered a new lecture, A Brief History of Midtown Phoenix, which focused on midtown Phoenix’s history from the prehistoric up until the present day, while also paying special attention to Phoenix’s post-World War II history and mid-20th Century development. As the world started to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, A Brief History of Midtown Phoenix was redelivered online. In 2021, the project will continue as Midtown Memories, which will focus on brief stories and historical vignettes from Midtown’s most notable people.
Civic engagements and appointments have included serving as a Commissioner of the City of Phoenix Arts & Culture Commission, President of the Board of Directors of the Midtown Neighborhood Association, and on the steering committees for the Hance Park Conservancy and Downtown Voices Coalition. He is a 2011 alumnus of Arizona State University, having graduated with honors in Urban and Metropolitan Studies from the School of Public Affairs and a recipient of Outstanding Service and Outstanding Student Leader awards.
Mr. Jensen lives in midtown Phoenix and he regularly updates his blog at edwardjensen.net.
A note from Eddie… Contrary to what my writings might say, no, I don’t hate Phoenix. This is my hometown. I want it to succeed, whether I’m still living in Phoenix or if life takes me somewhere else.
If they’re offered, my criticisms on Phoenix are rooted in university studies in urban policy and a constant eagerness to learn what it is that makes cities tick. So far, what I’m seeing in Phoenix is not that. And again, because I want Phoenix to succeed, that makes me upset.
Because I want my hometown to succeed, there are some things that it has to address. For instance, how are we addressing sustainability (and not just solar panels on rooftops)? What are its plans to combat exurban sprawl and further migration of people and businesses from the central core? What about our water needs and lessening our effect on climate change? How do we make central-city Phoenix a place where people want to be vs. just a place people go? How do we make our urban public schools places to where now-trepidatious parents want to send their children instead of thinking they have to decamp for the exurbs?
If Phoenix is going to be a relevant city in the economy, it has to address those items. Addressing other items before that is a non-starter in my book. And that’s why I write and advocate.