Public places and spaces should reflect different characteristics suited to community needs. Identity is informed by the physical form of a particular space and by the purpose of each space. A few examples:
- A concentration of natural beauty and shade that serves as an attractive place of refuge and reflection would not include a playground;
- Public spaces with less attention to natural beauty, but with an adequate amount of shade, can be used for special events, celebrations, public speaking opportunities, performances, temporary and permanent art installations;
- Less formal smaller spaces can connect neighborhoods, such as pocket parks, slices of nature, and urban trails;
- Community gardens can be designed and maintained by neighborhood residents;
- Recreational open spaces can be designed for all ages, including skate and skateboard parks for adolescents.
- Design elements that are recommended for inclusion in the development, or redevelopment, of public spaces downtown include, but are not limited to: natural settings (less formal design), landscaping that suits the Sonoran Desert climate, efficient use of water, SHADE, restrooms, sustainable architecture (where appropriate), bicycle racks, and easy accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers (accessible parking).
- Creating accessible, adaptable public spaces encourages a sense of community and raises the quality of life for downtown residents.