South Central Equitable Transit‑Oriented Development

A broad coalition of community organizations worked to design extensive multilingual educational and outreach resources distributed through various advertisements, events, and digital and printed platforms to inform as well as engage the community. The image shows some of the printed collateral.

A customized process of engagement and an education campaign demands follow through on a more equitable development plan.

Multistudio designed workshops and a public education campaign around research papers and what we learned through our team’s field work to support the community’s goals of protecting the vulnerable and inviting investments to their community that would improve the quality of life for their neighbors. Care for the details of the unique neighborhood of a 5-mile light rail extension and plan area was key to developing an incremental plan addressing the culture of each area distinctively.

The authors of the plan are many.

Workshops were designed as dynamic settings for multi-generational engagement. Multistudio created a festival environment along side focused round table discussion and subject matter stations where models were collectively made to communicate the community and designers’ imaginations and interactive tools expanding beyond conventional dot polling. With incremental change as the goal, the planning defined community goals specifically and tangibly rather than broad brushed and from a bird’s-eye perspective.

A comprehensive plan for incremental investment slows the risk of displacement.

The community vision is ensure public access to vital green space, the riparian wash of the Rio Salado that runs through the core of the city.

Public & Open Spaces

The plan prioritizes public and open space preservation to support natural amenities and connectivity, as well as creating public and semi-public green connections to the existing and improved open space system.

Appropriately scaled transit oriented development

The plan calls for appropriately scaled commercial and mixed-use infill along Central Avenue to preserve views of the mountains and character of the community.

Street networks in the corridor

Street network planning focuses on infill and redevelopment within an existing connectivity network and prioritizing multi-modal street improvements.

The canal network was identified as a community asset for improvement to enhance connectivity and health.

“Missing Middle” housing typologies were developed, appropriate for typical Phoenix lots and desert environment that respond to the the family needs of South Central Phoenix.

This experience has been one of the most challenging yet most rewarding experiences of my public service. During this time, we listened to the fears of the residents and businesses, heard their excitement for the opportunities that could come, and saw the hope in the spirits of these communities. This Community Plan should help guide the changes so that these resilient communities truly benefit, while embracing the diversity of newcomers and new ideas. This truly could be a model for change. Eva Ordonez Olivas Executive Director, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, Chairwoman of the South Central Steering Committee
Phoenix, AZ
Project Detail
5 square mile plan around 7 light rail station stops
Community Outreach
10 public workshops hosted, 68 community events attended
AIA Arizona
Urban & Regional Planning Award
City of Phoenix, AZ
Team Partner
Promise Arizona
Team Partner
Local First Arizona
Team Partner
Center for Neighborhood Technologies
Team Partner
Wilson & Co.
Team Partner
J2 Engineering & Landscape Architecture
Team Partner
Hustle Phoenix
Team Partner
Friendly House
Team Partner
South Central Collaborative
Phil Soto
Multistudio asterisk