February 28 2013

Phoenix Metro Area Plans for Transit Oriented Developments

Phoenix, Arizona has been making changes from its suburban, single story, sprawling past. The inception of Phoenix’s , light-rail system, METRO, has acted as a catalyst for the proliferation of transit oriented developments (TODs) along the corridor it occupies. This is no accident, as the cities in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area have been pursuing policies to encourage such development. The Valley METRO, the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Phoenix area, has a webpage with information on TODs.

TOD Phoenix

While intense in nature, TODs are an important feature for increasing walkability, livability, and promoting transit use in cities. According to a white paper by the US EPA, TODs create an environment in which people are more likely to walk or bike, thereby increasing their health, and reducing emissions from automobiles by up to 20%. In Phoenix, the objectives of the TOD district are many; but most importantly, they include the promotion of mixed-use urban design that encourages people to walk, bike, or use transit.

Another project involving transit that the City of Phoenix is conducting, in conjunction with its General Plan Update, is Reinvent Phoenix. On its surface, the project is just a series of visioning sessions, but it is really a step towards developing a form-based code for the light-rail corridor. The process is being conducted in conjunction with Arizona State University’s Schools of Sustainability and Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning. Additionally, the development of the code will be undertaken by the famous Florida based architecture, design, and planning firm Duany Plater-Zyberk, more commonly known as DPZ. This high profile code reform project will help formalize the process for developing TODs, especially in the midtown Phoenix corridor.

All in all, Reinvent Phoenix may encourage the proliferation of TODs in Phoenix, which will encourage more liveable communities.

Have you experienced an uptick in walking near TODs in your community?

Credits: Photo by James Gardner. Data linked to sources.

James Gardner

James is a graduate student in Urban and Environmental Planning at Arizona State University. Growing up in a small, sprawling town in Arizona, James became attracted to the field of planning and design by taking a critical look at his surroundings, and realizing there is a better way to live. With a Bachelors in Public Planning from Northern Arizona University, James has received extensive education in planning, and has worked as a Planner for Yavapai County, Arizona. James is currently focused on the health effects of the built environment in the Phoenix Metro area, and the integration of this focus into topics of transit, transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian planning. James hopes to become a Planner who advocates for a healthier built environment in order to make the cities we live in more vibrant and habitable. James blogged for the Grid with a focus on Phoenix, Arizona projects.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at 9:40 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environmental Design, Land Use, Urban Development/Real Estate, 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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One Response to “Phoenix Metro Area Plans for Transit Oriented Developments”

  1. “Reinvent Phoenix” Seeks to Cultivate Change Along Phoenix | The GRID | Global Site Plans’s Light Rail Corridor Says:

    [...] and Communities and is part of the larger Phoenix General Plan update process. As mentioned in my previous article, this project involves visioning by ASU and City of Phoenix planners. The subsequent form-based [...]

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