July 17 2012

Downtown Tucson, Arizona Revitalization

The city of Tucson, Arizona is sometimes referred to as “the Old Pueblo.” “Pueblo” is a Spanish word derived from a Latin word “populus,” meaning “town.” Downtown Tucson is the historic and cultural heart of the Old Pueblo. Its rich history is reflected in numerous historical buildings, and a strong arts and cultural sector.

Downtown Tucson, Arizona

Downtown Tucson, Arizona

Downtown Tucson lies in the Santa Cruz River Valley and east of Tucson Mountain. As the city develops eastwards, the downtown area is no longer the geographic center of Tucson, but a western periphery. Tucson has a metropolitan population of almost one million. However, the office sector in Downtown Tucson is small, and two-thirds of which is used for governmental purposes. Also, Downtown Tucson lacks a retail anchor. It has a high vacancy rate and limited hotel accommodations. These factors are constrains on the economic development of downtown, and even Tucson. Based upon the current condition of downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods’ characteristics, a mix of tourism, arts, cultural, entertainment, and residential development is the best choice for the city’s future development.

Significant private sector investment is essential to Downtown Tucson’s revitalization. To promote private sector development, planners have realized the symbiotic relationship of downtown and Broadway Corridor, which is a major arterial connecting downtown and east Tucson. The Broadway Corridor reconstruction project launched in 2012 and actual construction is anticipated in 2016. After completing the reconstruction, people, goods, and service can move rapidly to serve the specific needs of Downtown employees and residents. This will stimulate private investment in downtown, and can ultimately promote downtown revitalization.

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Wanyi Song

Wanyi Song is a graduate research assistant of the University of Arizona in Science of Planning. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture when she was living in Southern China. After her undergraduate studies, Wanyi worked full-time as a Landscape Designer in China and Singapore. Her interests range from environmental science and GIS technology to architecture and urban design. She enjoys participating in sustainable development projects which integrate green techniques and a sense of aesthetics, to create livable communities as well as to mitigate natural resources conflicts.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 at 4:53 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Land Use, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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