March 14 2013

“Reinvent Phoenix” Seeks to Cultivate Change Along Phoenix’s Light Rail Corridor

Phoenix, Arizona is infamous for its sprawl, its little stucco boxes, and its dominant car culture. But an ambitious project spearheaded by the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University (ASU), and St. Luke’s Health Initiative called Reinvent Phoenix aims to change the way Phoenix’s light rail is developed around neighborhoods.  The project is funded by a $2.9 million grant from the HUD Office of Sustainable Housing 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 code will be written by architecture and design firm, DPZ.

The purpose of the form-based code rewrite is to foster a denser, more flexible corridor and encourage transit-oriented developments, or TODs. Some of the anticipated project outcomes include: an increase in public participation in the planning and urban design process, reduced energy consumption (through higher use of transit and denser, more efficient buildings), increased redevelopment of affordable housing, economic development on vacant parcels, improved walkability, and an increase in capacity for equitable development. Dr. Aaron Golub, the grant’s principal investigator with ASU, has worked extensively on justice in transportation.

Reinvent Phoenix Plan Area

Reinvent Phoenix is the product of a collaborative effort among government officials, academics, public health practitioners, and community members. It should serve as a model for programs around the nation, especially in terms of desired outcomes. For its part, the HUD Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities has become the model of what public housing should strive to become in America; it is a far cry from the Pruitt Igoe disaster of the past.

What innovative housing and development projects have popped up in your city?

Credits:  Image and 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, March 14th, 2013 at 9:41 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, 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.


2 Responses to ““Reinvent Phoenix” Seeks to Cultivate Change Along Phoenix’s Light Rail Corridor”

  1. Debate Continues Over the Sustainability of Phoenix | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    [...] A Morrison Institute report highlights efforts in Phoenix are being made to become more sustainable in terms of water use, which has been the constant criticism of Phoenix. In one of my earlier articles, I mentioned efforts to plan for a more sustainable core along the light rail corridor. [...]

  2. Infill and Adaptive Reuse in Phoenix, Arizona | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    [...] All of this aided by the City’s efforts with Reinvent Phoenix, which aims to rezone neighborhoods near the light rail corridor for denser, more walkable development (I wrote about this earlier, here). [...]

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