Daily Archives: September 10, 2008

Reality Check: short commutes key to metro Phoenix’s future

[Source: Catherine Reagor, Arizona Republic] — The message delivered by top Valley real-estate and government leaders Tuesday at an annual growth conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa was twofold: the Valley needs to invest billions in transportation and create more jobs closer to housing communities if it wants to handle the 6 million people expected to move here by 2050.

The Urban Land Institute and Valley Partnership conference drew more than 500 people who gathered to hear the results of a growth exercise held in May aptly called Reality Check.  The goal of that exercise, the first of its kind in the Valley, was to come up with ways to better handle growth.  Among the key findings:

  • A $25 billion investment is needed in transportation, which would mean a sales-tax increase of 1.3 cents per dollar over the next 20 years.
  • 70% of transportation funding should go to light rail, commuter rail, and bus service and the remaining 30% to new freeways.
  • Most participants believe there needs to be a commuter-rail line connecting Phoenix to Tucson.
  • About 75% of new housing must be developed beyond the 101 and 202 freeways.
  • One-third of the new homes will likely need to go up in Pinal County.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

In Phoenix, it’s soda

[Source: Strange Maps] — When on a hot summer’s day you buy a carbonated beverage to quench your thirst, how do you order it?  Do you ask for a soda, a pop, or something else?  That question lay at the basis of an article in the Journal of English Linguistics (Soda or Pop?, #24, 1996) and of a map, showing the regional variation in American English of the names given to that type of drink.

Valley Forward honors eight City of Phoenix projects

Memorial Hall, Steele Indian School Park

Memorial Hall, Steele Indian School Park

[Source: City of Phoenix] — The city of Phoenix won eight awards for significant contributions to the environment during the recent Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony.  Phoenix received first-place Crescordia Awards for the following projects:

  • Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park in the category of Buildings and Structures, Historic Preservation
  • Neighborhood Resource Center in the category of Buildings and Structures, Public Works
  • Rio Salado Equestrian Trailhead in the category of Site Development and Landscape, Trails
  • Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area – Solar Irrigation Enhancement in the category of Environmental Technologies

Phoenix received Awards of Merit for:

  • Camelback East Village Core Pedestrian Streetscape and Underpass in the category of Buildings and Structures, Industrial, and Public Works
  • Recycling Changes Everything – On the Weekend in the category of Environmental Education/ Communications, Public Sector
  • Henson Village HOPE VI Development in the category of Livable Communities, Master Planned Communities
  • Arts, Culture, and Small Business Overlay District in the category of Livable Communities, Public Policy/Plans

The Valley Forward Association, which promotes cooperative efforts to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities, received more than 130 entries in this year’s competition.  For more information about Phoenix’s sustainability efforts, click here.

Name that city! (Well, duh, it’s Phoenix)

In Travel & Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities” poll, this city scored well as a relaxing retreat (#5), but ranked low for theater (#24) and live music (#25).  Best feature: Winter/Christmas (#3); worst feature: Summer Vacation (#25).  To learn more about “America’s Favorite Cities” and more detailed local rankings, click here.

Brookings Institution profiles Arizona’s demographics, economy

The Brookings Institution’s “Blueprint for American Prosperity” is a multi-year initiative to promote an economic agenda for the nation that builds on the assets and centrality of American’s metropolitan areas.  Grounded in empirical research and analysis, the Blueprint offers an integrated policy agenda and specific federal reforms designed to give metropolitan areas the tools they need to generate economically productive growth, to build a strong and diverse middle class, and to grow in environmentally sustainable ways.  To view the Blueprint’s profile on Arizona, click here.

Get your “Love Phoenix or Leave Phoenix” bumper sticker

As noted in a previous blog entry, Georganne Bryant, owner of downtown Phoenix clothing boutique Frances, has created a “Love Phoenix or Leave Phoenix” bumper sticker.  You can read her rationale for doing so here; and you can click on the image above to print one out for your very own.