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FREE EVENT: Urbanite! Kill Concrete/Promote Permeable Pathways

Event Details

FREE EVENT: Urbanite! Kill Concrete/Promote Permeable Pathways

Time: May 20, 2013 from 6:30pm to 8pm
Location: VPA Offices
Street: 1122 E Washington Street
City/Town: Phoenix, AZ 85042
Website or Map:
Event Type: class
Latest Activity: May 30, 2013

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Event Description

Instructor: Laura Denyes 

A FREE presentation about an often FREE building material.

Urbanite!! Plug into the waste stream. Reverse waste, meet city codes, save money and create permeable pathways... all at once! Urban farmers Laura Denyes and Dave Hamilton discovered that a seeming problem presented a new opportunity. In Laura's words, "All it took was a city code violation to get us motivated to broaden the horizons of our city officials. No, I won't pave my driveway, but I will dust-proof it."

Come find out what urbanite is, how to find, use and handle it. Dave and Laura turned their boring, non-permeable driveway into a beautiful, functional mosaic. Get inspiration and learn from those who took sledgehammers and city codes into their own hands. 

Instructor Laura Denyes and her husband Dave Hamilton run Wish We Had Acres, an urban farm project that pursues a lifestyle that embraces Food as Medicine.  Starting with a postage stamp-sized lot and 1 goat, after 4 years, they now have a one acre urban farm with goats, chickens, turkeys and ducks, and vegetables. 

How to Register: Sign in and click "will attend" under RSVP or, if you do not wish to sign in to the website, email

There is no charge for this special presentation of the Urbanite class.

The Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA) offices are located at 1122 E Washington St, Phoenix.  On the light-rail, it is accessible from E Washington and the intersection at 12thSt. The offices are set back from the street, so turn when you see 1112 on a large beige wall. Take a right and you can’t miss it. This link is very accurate: 


Comment Wall

Comment by Class Coordinator on May 15, 2013 at 5:53pm

If you have any photos of urbanite projects you've done, please share them with us. Also, if you have any sources of urbanite, this is a great opportunity to find new homes for it.

Comment by Laura on May 17, 2013 at 12:35pm

Well, I wouldn't say our driveway was boring OR impermeable before, but the city requested that we pave our sweet little dirt driveway and I just couldn't bring myself to dump gravel on it every 5 years. A wonderful thing happened... we got so many FREE materials that we've created a patio and perimeter garden as well!

Comment by Erica (Dawnfire) on May 18, 2013 at 12:10pm

I don't suppose you'll cover ideas on finding urbanite? I've been surprised at how hard it's been. We had a chance here but my husband got sick and we couldn't collect in time before the person was just going to trash it.

Comment by Class Coordinator on May 18, 2013 at 2:38pm

Hi, Erica,

I think Laura will touch on that. I'm encouraging people to post that info in our forums and I will email you the name of a forum member who recently said she had some. Don't know what part of town she's in, though.

Comment by Laura on May 19, 2013 at 10:29am

That can be the biggest challenge. Timing is everything and you do need to act fast! But there are other methods and pros and cons to each, of course. :)

Comment by Aaron on May 19, 2013 at 12:20pm

I've found all of my urbanite in the river bottom @75th avenue a Deer valley road many unscrupulous people dump there waste in wilderness areas here in town close to there home/jobsite. Go look for yourself you'll find all the urbanite you need, be able to pick the pieces you want, and clean up a little piece of the desert.

Comment by Laura on May 20, 2013 at 9:12am

Hot tip! Thanks, Aaron. Depending on the size and scope of your project that could be the perfect solution. If you've got more ground to cover, you might want a delivery in order to keep that precious spirit of the project alive. There are ways to intercept the waste stream prior to getting to the landfill, or in this case, the side of the road...

Comment by Laura on May 21, 2013 at 12:56pm

Good luck to all of you that attended last night. If any of you are looking for a source of urbanite let us know! For those of you that are interested in hands on... you are welcome to join us for a work party. In general we are working on this every weekend until it is done. If we become organized about another work party we will announce it here. Until then, if you get the bug sooner, reach out and we'll shoot you an address to join us! Thanks!

Comment by Lisa Schoop on May 22, 2013 at 12:04pm

Hi Laura!

The class was great, as was the hands-on at your homestead. I'm working on my own Urbanite path ( I just posted pictures today) and am clean out of material.  I don't need  too much more, and the really large chunks you use would be unmanageable for me. If I remember you had a supplier in Tempe that got you material in smaller batches. Can you hook me up?


Comment by Laura on May 30, 2013 at 4:19pm

Hey Lisa! I'm sending Jaime's info your way via message now. She says she has a small load ready now and can have more in the near future if ya like. Her jack hammer has broken... aack! So she is using a sledge hammer and breaker bar for now. yowsa.


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