Downtown Phoenix prepares for a facelift with a new form-based code and downtown master plan.
"Today, Phoenix is expected to take an important step toward bringing more shade, better-looking buildings and pedestrian-friendly spots to downtown.
The City Council will likely approve today a key part of that sweeping effort, which is called the Urban Form project. The final part could go before city leaders at the end of the year.
Downtown Phoenix relies on tourism and foot traffic, even during the steamy summer months, so the changes are also an economic issue, city leaders have said.
'I think it really is a sea change,' said the city's planner, Dean Brennan. 'What this . . . whole process has done is focus a lot of attention on downtown and the important role that the downtown plays in helping to create a sustainable community, helping to create a great community and a great city.'"