Looking for Successful Places in Metropolitan Phoenix

The Phoenix region, as a relatively young metropolitan area, has sprawled as it's grown and for much of its expansion has overlooked placemaking considerations. A recent feature in The Arizona Republic highlights the places that standout.

July 2, 2015, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

"Compared to many other cities, metro Phoenix is like a gangly adolescent in terms of development, still working on building its character," according to an article by Parker Leavitt. "But the East Valley, home to more than 1.4 million people and 18,000 businesses, is beginning to see more areas — [Mark Stapp, director of Arizona State University's Master of Real Estate Development program] calls them 'nodes' — emerge with that coveted 'sense of place.'"

One of those locations, according to Stapp's explanation in the article, is Gilbert's Heritage District. But that's not all: "Even established destinations like Old Town Scottsdale are evolving. The Western flavor of Scottsdale's core is familiar to tourists but now is drawing more residents and office workers. The nearby Waterfront area turns a canal into a unique attraction."

The article includes a slideshow showing ten East Valley places noteworthy for their sense of place. Each of the locations includes a brief blurb describing their success in achieving the outcomes that still remain rare, according to the article's premise, around the region.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 in The Arizona Republic

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