Preparing for Phoenix's Growth
By 2030, the Valley will add another 2 million residents, and Stanton has made it a priority to prepare Phoenix's transit and infrastructure for that growth.
Triple the miles of light rail in the next 30 yearsDuring his State of the City Address, Stanton set a goal to triple the number of light rail miles in Phoenix over the next 30 years – extending the existing 17 miles south down Central Avenue, to Metro Center and North Phoenix.
He recognizes that transit is about more than getting people from Point A to Point B – it's about inspiring the right kind of development. By creating permanent pathways for moving people, transit gives business, retailers and restaurants the confidence they need for long-term investments and development projects.
We're already seeing it in Phoenix. In the two years since Stanton took office, light rail ridership is up more than 11 percent. And since 2008, we've seen $7 billion of development investment along the Metro Light Rail line.
Build an 'Innovation Infrastructure'
Stanton knows it's more than just transportation infrastructure that's going to prepare Phoenix for the 30 years. We also need what he calls an "innovation infrastructure" – one with components that give innovators the tools they need to thrive like entrepreneurial ecosystems and ultra high-speed Internet.
The City is currently working directly with Google to bring its ultra-fast fiber Internet service to Phoenix. Delivering speeds 100 times faster than the average connection is going to be necessary for Phoenix to compete with other global cities. It will also bring our universities up to speed – literally.
A healthy innovation infrastructure is what draws talented thinkers to our community. A network of co-working spaces, business accelerators and incubators is sprouting in Phoenix, attracting innovators to an entrepreneurial ecosystem so that they can work to solve the problems of tomorrow.
Smart planning for Phoenix's future water supplies
This forward thinking leadership is also helping prepare Phoenix to handle the drought that is gripping Arizona and most of the West. We can live and prosper in this beautiful place only because of foresight and innovation – and that has to continue.
Stanton is looking ahead to innovative solutions to ensure that Phoenix has reliable water supplies. This year, the city is planning a joint effort with both of Tucson's water providers to store and recover Central Arizona Project and Colorado River water supplies.