Starting in the early 2010s, Tucson’s Living Streets Alliance organized to change the city’s uncomfortable, unsafe streets. After successfully advocating for pedestrian safety and walkability projects to be included in a county-wide bond package, the organization used their newfound momentum to pursue a Complete Streets policy.
These case studies present Smart Growth America’s key findings and the lessons we’ve learned about smart growth implementation from a four-year technical assistance program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The cases are meant to help communities that are committed to (or are exploring) smart growth but struggle with implementation. The cases highlight successful … Continued
Pedestrians walking in the Atlanta metro region. Photo via Flickr.
Pedestrian deaths are a national epidemic in the United States. Within that epidemic, though, some populations have been hit harder than others.
In Dangerous by Design 2014, we ranked America’s most dangerous metropolitan areas for walking using our Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). We investigated the nature of over 47,000 pedestrian deaths from 2003 through 2012 and identified the regions that most needed to improve pedestrian safety. In more recent years, many of them, including the Florida Department of Transportation, have started taking steps to keep people on foot safe.
But our analysis of demographic data, included in the report from a state-by-state view, also told a story of inequity.
Councilmember Dave Richins discusses the ins and outs of form based code – – making development decisions based on how a building aesthetically interacts with the street and the other buildings in the area instead of based on what the use of the building will be – – and how Mesa, Arizona used form based … Continued
The Sun Link streetcar line is a catalyst for investment in downtown Tucson. Photo via the City of Tucson.
Downtown Tucson, AZ is undergoing a revival, and smart growth strategies are a major factor behind it according to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild.
Rothschild, a native Tucsonan and a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, has experienced firsthand the rapid growth of greater Tucson over the past 50 years. “When I was born, there were 50,000 people in this community. Today there are over one million. We’ve grown at a remarkable rate,” says Rothschild.
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New development along the Valley Metro light rail line in Tempe, AZ. Photo of the Hub on Campus building via Facebook.
The City of Phoenix, AZ, is working to encourage development along the Valley Metro light rail line, and it’s getting some help from a region-wide effort that’s working to link Phoenix’s investments to others throughout the region.
The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) is a unique non-profit partnership working to catalyze development along the Valley Metro light rail in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. Started in 2011 with a $20 million private investment from Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Raza Development Fund, SCC aims to create “vibrant urban environments and transit-oriented communities that have it all”: a mix of housing starts, new community health care centers, entrepreneurial start-ups, pedestrian and bicycle friendly neighborhoods, eclectic retail and restaurants, and artistic centered community development connected to the 20-mile light rail line.
Phoenix residents can soon look forward to more housing and lifestyle choices, thanks toReinvent PHX, a collaboration between the City of Phoenix, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Arizona State University, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and local organizations aiming to develop “sustainability action plans” for the areas along Phoenix’s existing light rail line.
This process, carried out in consultation with the public and with funding from HUD, is intended to create an attractive investment environment for transit-oriented development (TOD) projects along Phoenix’s light rail line, Valley METRO, which opened in 2008. By 2014, Phoenix will have developed sustainability action plans for each of the light-rail adjacent areas, and implementation will begin. Soon a “car-free” or “car-lite” lifestyle will be available to more and more Phoenix residents through TOD.
Pheonix began to see its future a little differently in 2008, when the city began operating a 29-mile light rail line with 28 stations. To take advantage of this new infrastructure, Phoenix focused the city’s growth and giving its residents with what they wanted: more housing and transportation choices.
A detail from Pima County’s Cultural Resources map. Image from the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
Pima County, Arizona, has made a concerted effort in recent years to improve how it uses land and maintains its infrastructure.
The County already is already working to improve the area’s zoning codes, and the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, which works to balance development with preserving open space, has been touted as “one of the best and most comprehensive habitat conservation plans in the country.”