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Phoenix takes steps towards walkability

The new light rail system in Phoenix is part of a plan to bring dense, walkable development to the sprawling city's downtown. (Phil Sexton/flickr/cc)

Phoenix has a reputation as a sprawling, car-dependent city. But Adele Peters reports in Fast Company that this “poster child of sprawl” now is encouraging dense development and walkable streets.

A new light rail system is part of a master plan that calls for high-density neighborhoods to be built over the next few decades. These areas would be pedestrian-friendly and linked to mass transit.

 “All of the features are intended to get more people on the street and outside of cars,” Peters writes. That goal is made tougher by temperatures that frequently soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celcius). To create more shade, Phoenix will design narrower streets that place buildings closer together to block sunlight. The city also plans to add foliage along roads to increase shade and encourage outdoor activity.

Fast Company

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