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More than many cities, Phoenix residents have a strong connection to the natural eco-system around them; most identify strongly with living in a desert.  The 2050 goal of having all residents within a five-minute walk of a park or open space is enhanced through two complementary actions:

1. Adding 150 miles of paths, greenways, and bikeways throughout the city, and transforming an additional 150 miles of canals into vibrant public space.  Phoenix has more canals then Venice, but significant upgrades are needed to make them widely used and enjoyed. 

2. Reducing urban heat-island through green-infrastructure (such as "cool roofs", permeable pavement, and stormwater capture) as well as doubling the current tree and shade canopy to 25% by 2030. Structured shade and trees facilitate increased walking and biking, increase property values, and, most importantly, can be used to create great public gathering spaces in communities. 

The city is currently exploring ways to plant more trees--particularly in areas with reduced tree canopy where additional shade is needed near transportation corridors to facilitate access to public transit.

​​What are we doing now?

The city has a variety of programs aimed at ensuring land is not only protected, but put to productive use as well. The success in sustainable land use and mobility lies in adopting integrated policies that encourage the use of green infrastructure and buildings, brownfield redevelopment, creating connectivity within road networks and ensuring connectivity between pedestrian, bike, transit and road facilities.

The city is committed to preservation of its natural resources for future generations to enjoy. The Sonoran Preserve Master Plan establishes goals to acquire land to maintain species diversity and ecological processes, while providing a recreational resource. To date, a total of 9,100 acres has been acquired.

PlanPHX is a concerted effort by the city of Phoenix to collaborate with residents on the future of their city. Starting in August 2012, the Mayor and City Council hosted 13 PlanPHX community forums where residents answered these two questions: What do you love about Phoenix? What is your big idea for the future? The questions provided feedback on the elements residents want to promote for Phoenix in the future. In addition to the 13 forums, staff participated in 150 PlanPHX​ presentations or activities, ranging from senior health fairs to hosting tables at popular locations such as Food Truck Friday. Questions could also be answered online at the project's website.

PHX Renews
​In partnership with Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Barron Collier Companies, PHX Renews is transforming a 15-acre vacant lot into a sustainable public place, including the creation of community garden plots.

​Check out the latest TV coverage on Parks, Preserves and Open Spaces in Phoenix.