The American Institute of Architects Phoenix Metro Chapter, Urban Land Institute (ULI) Arizona and Arizona Forward call for groundbreaking proposals for the Valley’s most impactful green infrastructure project in a century – The Rio Reimagined.
Our urban rivers can be a source of civic pride that connect and transform diverse communities, while enhancing the future economic and environmental vitality of the region. The Rio Salado, a once perennial river, flowed through urban Maricopa County, spawning early settlements and connecting diverse communities. For decades, community leaders and stakeholders have explored ways to reconnect the splendor of the river to Valley residents through ecosystem restoration, flood mitigation and economic development.
This historically significant and underutilized resource holds the potential to be reconceived as a unifying public space that enhances our metro areas resilience. A creative and collective effort is needed to integrate the priorities of open space, environmental quality, housing, transportation, economic and workforce development, and identity among communities connected by the Rio Salado.
This visionary project is designed to promote progressive commerce while ensuring an equitable, high quality, sustainable environment. Inspire us by cultivating a progressive identity for our river and its watershed. The time is now to redefine the Rio Salado as a community asset for all.
The Rio Reimagined 2018 Ideas Competition encompasses a 58-mile geographic span, ranging from Granite Reef Dam in the east to State Route 85 in the west, and includes the Rio Salado and Gila Rivers. The Rio Reimagined belongs to the eight communities (from East to West): Mesa, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Tempe, Phoenix, Gila River Reservation, Avondale, Goodyear and Buckeye, along the river corridor as they partner in creating a vibrant, urban riverfront for the valley.
Thanks to early advocacy, leadership and generous support of the late U.S. Senator John McCain and Arizona State University, an active and diverse community partnership has begun to leverage broad support for the redevelopment and stewardship of the urban riverfront. Over the next several years, Arizona Forward, ULI Arizona and the AIA Phoenix Metro will collaborate with these leading voices through a series of Technical Advisory Panels (TAP) led by ULI Arizona and the annual ideas competition lead by AIA Phoenix Metro.