Commend Plans to Promote Sustainable Urban Planning

Phoenix AZ Sprawl

Target: Dr. Braden Kay, Reinvent Phoenix Community Outreach Coordinator

Goal: Promote economically and environmentally sustainable urban development in Phoenix

Although the city of Phoenix, Arizona is frequently cited as a prime example of suburban sprawl, the city’s municipal and community leaders recognize the need for denser, more sustainable development. Such development patterns lead to walkable, transit-friendly and generally healthier cities, reducing per capita energy consumption and vehicular carbon emissions.

The coalition of Phoenix leaders includes businesses, city government workers, and developers, reports James Gardner of Global Site Plans. Under the umbrella of project Reinvent Phoenix (Reinvent PHX), the city provides an ambitious list of objectives for creating a more sustainable and attractive urban environment. These objectives include “[creating] an attractive investment environment for high quality and equitable Transit-Oriented Development,” using existing and planned light rail corridors while working to “maximize the community’s return on investment by guiding new development to benefit rather than displace residents, [to] improve affordability, and enhance unique and historic characteristics.”

According to Gardner, Reinvent PHX aims to empower small local businesses by simplifying “the land development process, which is often burdensome” because of a “labryinthine regulatory atmosphere” in the city. Currently in planning stages, Reinvent PHX is diligently engaging community leaders and everyday citizens in search of ideas to maximize  the quality and utility of “infill” developments throughout the city.

This is a watershed policy change for one of America’s least-densely populated and fastest-growing major metropolitan areas. Applaud the sustainable and community-oriented leadership of Phoenix and the Reinvent PHX project team, and encourage other cities to follow an engaging model for sustainable urban development.


Dear Dr. Braden Kay,

Promoting sustainable and socioeconomically responsible urban development presents one of the ultimate policy challenges facing urban leaders in the 21st century. Phoenix, Arizona personifies many of these challenges with notoriously sprawling suburban development patterns and minimal mass transit accessibility.

Recognizing these challenges, the city’s municipal and community leaders, under the aegis of Reinvent PHX, are poised to drastically change these trends. The longterm view of this project and emphasis upon citizen inclusivity promises to revitalize areas of suburban decline, preserving the city’s historic architectural heritage while promoting denser transit-oriented development. This conscientious approach is critical to making the city not only greener but a place where everyday citizens enjoy access to opportunities and the enjoyment of social public places.

We, the undersigned, enthusiastically support your efforts to build a stronger, environmentally sustainable, and socioeconomically empowering Phoenix. Keep up the brilliant work!


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Greg O’Beirne via Wikimedia

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