Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

colin

Tucson Learning from Phoenix?

9 posts in this topic

10 lessons Tucson can learn from Phoenix (seriously)

I agree with a lot with it, but I think the article was written by a Phoenician.

For one, I think it's wonderful that Tucson doesn't have many freeways. "Takes you 45 minutes to get from your house in the Rincon Valley to Downtown? Than don't live out there!" It discourages the sort of fringe sprawl that Phoenix always sees, which is exactly what needs to be prevented on the far, far east side. Plus, where would the freeway go? Tanque Verde? Downtown to the edge of the national forest or national park boundary is only about 10 or 15 miles.

And the manner in which Phoenix handled its mass transit infrastructure is anything to be lauded and idolized: Playing catch-up in what will soon be the fourth largest city in the country to lay down an extensive, but probably ultimately ineffective system. Phoenix should have started building this sort of thing in the '90's if not earlier.

And I don't know what this business is about Phoenix being a "hip" town. Does anyone really believe that? There's a lot of stagnation in the way Tucson deals with growth and progress, but putting a few gentrified condos and a Pei Wei up doesn't equal "hip" in my eyes. I don't think I would want to live here if we had a strip equivalent to Roosevelt, where a 2 bedroom cost $300k. People are too conscientious about affordable housing to let that happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


For one, I think it's wonderful that Tucson doesn't have many freeways... It discourages the sort of fringe sprawl that Phoenix always sees...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

isn't suggesting Tucson could learn anything from Phoenix fightin words in Pima County?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If Tucson could continue managing its growth without building local freeways (which takes a kind of imagination and planning Maricopa County lacks), it will gain its own hipness naturally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well i'm not going to fuel a political arguement, and I have no doubt that the forumers in this room will maintain a profesional atmosphere when discussing this. But how does the red/blue arguement go in deciding whether or not a place is hip? I have not spent enough time in Tucson, the few times i've been there it seemed like a less commercial PHX. (Mind you this is coming from an essential AZ outsider.) To be honest I think if you shrunk Phoenix to a quarter of it's current size you would have Tucson. They have a few common themes, as they both have a seemingly weak core, and not enough infrastructure to support themselves. Tucson is a college town, tho as college towns go, Tucson is much bigger than the nationally renown hip ones. From what i've experienced, there is the college area, and the immediate neighborhoods that make it up. They do have an eclectic college feel. But outside of that, there was not much to do. This is not a slight on Tucson at all, so I don't want anyone to take it that way. I think whole heartedly Tucson would benefit from allowing things that make it a little more city to permeate it's borders. A city can't be completely anti-business, or it will not fair well economicaly ( see Detroit ).

I would not call Phoenix hip. I would say it's desperately grasping at it. Phoenix has all the ingredients of what makes a hip city/ metro area. But they are spread out to thin. All the ingredients a city needs. World class shopping, but that's really not in Phoenix, there is a small amount in the Biltmore, but Scottsdale is our home to the shopping not Phoenix. A vibrant nightlife, but again that's not in Phoenix, the night belongs to Tempe. An overbearing religion that controls all facets of government and policy, kidding kidding ( I couldn't leave out Mesa). My favorite thing that makes a hip city is the dense core, but all the high rises and residential over the years have really gone everywhere but downtown Phoenix. Phoenix does have the potential to gain a dense, identifiable core, the next couple years will really be the tipping point as to if it will grow into itself. The article said in Phoenixs' growth it lost its Identity, I question could such a young city have ever had an identity?

Ultimately Phoenix and Tucson have one huge thing in common they both exist in the state of Arizona. I had a dream that i read the state constitution and all it said was "NIMBY". Phoenix is much larger than Tucson so it would only make sense that it would have more amenities and freeways and High risese. Compare it to cities of like size. It has nowhere near the freeway networks, nowhere near the dense urban core. Nowhere near the identity. Now scale it down and take Tuscon, and compare Tucson to Metro areas of like size and you have the same thing. Arizona is the poster child for lack of planning, and will probabally always play catchup with itself. However suggesting that business rules Phoenix and that it dictates what is placed and where, is somewhat disengenuous in my opinion. It perhaps is not as acute as in Tucson, but things that get proposed in this town go thru the same political torture and scrutiny, as happens anywhere within the borders of this state. Blame the hieght anemic residents who only want to see progress in the form of 1000 identical home subdivisions with acompanying Walgreens, Mcdonalds, Safeway, repeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now scale it down and take Tuscon, and compare Tucson to Metro areas of like size and you have the same thing. Arizona is the poster child for lack of planning, and will probabally always play catchup with itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Even in Austin. Sure, the identity and the "hip" nature is there, but they're just now playing catch-up on freeway construction and have yet to approve any major investment in mass transit infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if the authors of these books actually ever visit the cities they rate. I know that, most of the time, they don't.

They usually have a write-up of the formula they used to compute the ratings. Chandler probably threw a bunch of garbage at them about bike and walking trails that fit their formula well. And maybe since it's flat...

For all its low points concerning pedestrian walkability, the East Valley has done a pretty good job of actually building sidewalks along its busy streets. That's something many cities can't say.

But them beating out Portland is absolutely ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


One criterion was "% of pop that walks for exercise". As opposed to people who walk for transportation. So if you want a city where you can walk without getting anywhere, Chandler isn't such a bad choice. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.