Design Guidelines

Description: The Downtown Code accounts for most of the progress since 2004.  It is believed that the Urban Form, if built as shown and described in the code, will lead to the development of a desirable place to live, work, and recreate.  However, the code deals mostly with back of curb development and more progress needs to be made in respect to developing “Complete Streets.”  It is also noted that development needs to occur on multiple scales, filling in the holes between the large communal nodes like Cityscape and Chase Field so that visitors from the suburbs are encouraged to linger and wander downtown, not just zip in from the freeway, attend an event, and zip right out.

The balance of facilitating uncongested mass exodus while maintaining a walkable and interesting city core needs to be improved.  Further development should focus on improving quality of life so that those living and those visiting are exposed to a desirable urban experience; we must stimulate and encourage a demand for the product that is the Phoenix Urban Experience.  In part, this means establishing and enforcing appropriate guidelines for vegetation, shade, and mid-block pedestrian crossings, especially along the light rail corridors.

The ultimate goal: Eliminate need for design guidelines through universal understanding and involvement.

Top Four Challenges

  1. Barriers to Complete Streets – Public Safety and Public Works dictate design (i.e., fire department demanding 20’ clearances thus necessitating wider streets) ~ Aesthetic vs. Safety
  2. Identifying and agreeing on density nodes and transition areas
    • Impact of Proposition 207
    • Can the guidelines apply to other city nodes (i.e. Biltmore, Uptown, City North, etc.)?
  3. Inclusivity – awareness, communication, and participation ~ Holistic understanding of planning issues from everyone at the table
  4. Implementation ~ Who is responsible for what?

Possible Solutions

  • Educate decision makers.
  • Revise State and City Street Design Guidelines.
  • Restructure and re-strategize Public Works and Public Safety Guidelines.
  • Delegate management of assets (i.e. parks, street trees, etc.) to most knowledgeable and interested citizens to improve the efficiency and equity of expenditures.
  • Allow for multiple nodes with hyper-local input and oversight (i.e. localized development of district guidelines).
  • Design Districts that create an atmosphere that spurs demand for spin off districts.  Each district and neighborhood has unique qualities and characteristics that could be capitalized on; design to keep people downtown and not rush back to the freeway.
  • Inform visitors on how to access and navigate using alternative modes so to reduce parking demand.

Go to Environment >>

Review 2004 Design Guidelines background information

Review 2004 Design Guidelines challenges and solutions (including 2010 analysis of progress)

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