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Phoenix 2050 Provides a Sustainability Map to the Future : Long-term goals provide a blueprint to create a city we would all like to live in. Make your voice heard by sharing your insights.

Mar 29, 2016 09:55AM ● By By Martin Miron

Phoenix 2050 is a long-term blueprint for the city’s future that coordinates a number of key factors to produce the kind of city we would all like to see by the year 2050. Mark Hartman, MBA, LEED AP, chief sustainability officer for the city of Phoenix, states, “Phoenix 2050 seeks to articulate explicit long-term outcomes that speak to the ideal city we wish to become if we could design it. It is difficult to change a city in the short term, but if the long-term goals are identified—the point in the horizon we are headed toward is identified—then we can move over time to achieve these goals.”

Cities grow organically and often have a mix of good aspects, as well as things that, if it could be done all over again, would benefit from hindsight. Some lands and streams have been contaminated, trees and other natural environments removed to make way for development and the amenities needed to live and work and play located a significant distance from where people live.

Mark HartmanThe first round of Phoenix 2050 is looking at environmental goals, and future efforts will seek public input on other social and economic goals. “Along with the goals, we created a set of quick-start items to get us headed in the right direction. We will need to continue to update these and add new actions that continue to move us toward the long-term outcomes desired by the community. We are going to the city council on April 12, and would like public input about the Phoenix 2050 plan online at or email [email protected],” says Hartman.

After the council makes a decision, the city will begin to work with stakeholders on developing specific goals and targets; work with stakeholders and the public to consider equivalent social and economic 2050 goals; and begin implementing the quick start actions already identified. Hartman says, “My role is to facilitate the conversation and highlight best practices and research from other cities.”

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Phoenix 2050 Nuts & Bolts

Phoenix 2050 desired outcomes regarding transportation, waste, buildings and land use, water stewardship, parks, preserves and open spaces, clean air and local food systems include:

  • Make walking, cycling and public transit practical in every neighborhood
  • Create zero waste in the entire economy
  • Achieve an 80 percent reduction in community carbon emissions
  • Maintain a clean and reliable 100-year supply of water
  • All residents live within a five-minute walk of a park or open space
  • Achieve a level of air quality that is healthy for residents and the environment
  • Maintain a sustainable, healthy, equitable, thriving local food system
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