Monday, October 13, 2008

Tempe evolves

This could transform Tempe--and if Phoenix ever hopes to save itself from itself, the rest of that city should follow suit:

One of the biggest high-rise and condominium building booms in Valley history is transforming Tempe into a retail, residential and entertainment center some are calling a model for "the new American city."

City officials and many developers believe that Tempe will evolve over the next few years into a city with a mixed-use core where residents live, ride to work on bicycles or on public transportation, and walk to restaurants, museums, sporting events and schools.

And, experts say, as Tempe's core becomes more populated, the city will become one of the nation's best examples of "New Urbanism," a planning movement that began in the 1980s in reaction to the post-World War II phenomenon of sprawling American cities.

As you can see, Phoenix at large could benefit from more biking, mass transit, and walkable communities. Biking is only viable in the winter there, but air-condititioned electric trains could be a huge benefit, and mixed-zoning can keep people closer to work. Suburbia has been a disaster, and America needs to start rethinking how it designs its cities.