Phoenix, Arizona recently became the fifth largest city in the United States, joining the ranks of some huge metropolises like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. All of these cities are known for many things, but the one they may have most in common is their crazy traffic. However, Phoenix isn’t known for that at all. What’s the difference between the ways the cities were designed? What makes Phoenix stand out?
Streets on a Grid
Phoenix was developed in a grid system, making it much easier to navigate than most cities with their countless curves, u-turns, and one way streets. Overall, this grid makes things easier for both residents and visitors, allowing everyone to navigate faster and more safely to their destinations.
Another thing that sets Phoenix apart is its wide streets. Many large cities are known for their narrow streets, and once buildings move in around streets, it’s almost impossible to widen the street. Phoenix was designed with wider streets, which cuts down on a lot of traffic. When the freeways get busy, there are countless wide streets that parallel them that many residents take to get to and from work.
Future Construction Opportunities
Wide streets also allow for future construction, whether it be an expansion of the light rail or adding bike lanes to make the city more green. It’s much more cost effective to shrink a street than to widen it, so Phoenix is uniquely well-prepared for that situation.
Plenty of Room (for activities)
Another thing that sets Phoenix apart is the fact that the city is spread out. This not only gives you a little room to breathe, but allows us to have more green spaces and wild areas than we otherwise might. There are countless preserves and wild areas throughout the city, mostly due to the large hills sprinkled throughout the valley.
Enjoy the Outdoors
These wild spaces not only provide spectacular vistas, but also some great hiking, conveniently located near to all parts of town. The desert scenery provides some amazing sights, and there’s always a trail to whet your need for a hike. Whether you’d like to take a shorter hike with your dog or really go for it and climb Camelback Mountain, Phoenix’s “big peak,” there’s always something new to try outdoors thanks to the great urban design of Phoenix.
Environmentally Friendly – Solar City
Phoenix is also taking steps toward going green. One thing that we have a lot of in the summer is sun, and one thing we lack in the desert is shade. The clever solution? Solar panels! You’ll notice in Phoenix that many parking lots at malls or at schools have solar panels over them, shading the cars and providing energy. And it’s becoming difficult to find a residential roof in the city without solar panels on top. Phoenix resident are realizing that they live in one of the most sunny cities in the United States, and that solar power is a great way to turn all that sun into money in their pockets.
When you visit Phoenix, you’ll see that it’s very different from a lot of big cities. There’s been a bit more thought put into it, and although it’s more spread out than most cities with a similar population, there’s less traffic to speak of. Phoenix is a city that you’ll have to see to believe, and we hope that you do!