Case Study

General Plan Evaluation Of Tempe’s Land Use

The guiding principle when it comes to the use of land is balance. The thinking behind this principle is that so there may exist affordable housing and variety, work opportunities and quality development. Ultimately the welfare of the community as a whole in terms of social, cultural and economic needs is prioritized.

The city picked for evaluation is Tempe which is landlocked city within a desert valley. Since it is land locked, it is forced to grow internally and upwards as opposed to growing outwards. The land element tries and incorporates the following themes of the general plan; it introduces new residential and commercial development at sufficient densities and the reasoning behind this is that the support for a new neighborhood oriented goods and services can be realized. Also the creation of pedestrian and bike connections that will lead to schools, parks and other areas around the neighborhood.

The plan also entails creating open spaces and shaded places for the relaxation of the community in the urban areas. The parks and plazas will be synthesized to create stop breaks for those that will be walking or riding bikes for around 20 minutes. All this will be aimed at creating a relaxing environment for the residents. This will guide the decisions made to make Tempe an attractive city that will influence the development of the future.

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Schools is an example of how land is used in Tempe. The schools have developed large open grounds that will be used for recreation by the students. Although generally known for education, these places are counted as one of the public spaces. The use of these grounds may be restricted by the school districts.

Zoning is a term used to divide and demarcate areas according to the related uses. This are defined by districts which basically lay down the rules and guidelines on how the land can be developed within that district. It gives and defines the rights to use property within the district. Zoning is intended to improve the value of the properties, protect the health of the public and also makes sure that the government service is of acceptable quality.

The goal for this type of land use is to majorly ensure that sustainable development is realized for the growth and enhancement of the quality of life where people learn, play, work and live. Among the objectives of the same include; the establishment of a higher density core which shall serve surrounding neighborhoods. The plot used to achieve this will be to utilize street patterns and facilities to connect to other hubs around the city. Also redevelopment within the hubs shall be encouraged. Aspects like celebration of vital historic buildings and sites around the city shall be embraced.
Another objective will be to promote land use patterns that encourage and promote sustainable development. The strategies that will be used to achieve this include; the open space tactic which promote a more sustainable look. They will identify potential sites that can be development at a future date. Balance the entire community by building houses that are designed to cater for different families either small ones or larger ones.

The third objective is to create a balance between the existing neighborhoods and the new land use aspects that will be incorporated. The strategies that will be employed in this objective will be to focus on the transition of dense to a more family oriented neighborhood keeping in mind proper use of land. Create a connection between the pedestrian and transit routes. They will also develop an appealing street environment for them to encourage walking among the residents.

Another objective will be to encourage a balanced community with different uses and employment opportunities. The strategies used here will be to encourage industrial use of land which will be essential in the support of the city’s employment and tax-base. To maintain the existing land based employment sustainably. Lastly they will also identify empty land that can be sued for future development.
The other objective of land element is to create an integrated transportation that enhances the character of the entire community. The strategies used to achieve this will include the promotion of compact and efficient infill development. To develop transit-oriented design along arterial streets. Basically this objective will be interested in bringing the needs of the entire community and integrating them into the transportation system that will reflect the diversity the community has.

The preservation of significant historic and archeological resources is another important objective that the land use element tries to incorporate sustainably. Then strategy hoped to achieve this objective include the establishment of a historic district that will be supported by the neighborhood. To first identify and then classify properties that have the potential of having historical and archeological value. Then bring up to date the existing preservation plan and eventually expand it. The most important aspect of the strategy will be thee consultation of the representatives of the Native American tribes so as to identify their concerns about the treatment of cultural properties.

The design of the community is an important factor that is integrated with the use of land. The Overall goal is supposed to improve the way the entire outlook of the environment looks like. Tempe has continued to enhance its sense of place and pride through the refinement and development of programs and policies that will ultimately raise the standards of design of the community presently and in the future. The design is founded on four pillars; innovation, Integration, definition and Articulation.

Integration basically points to the fact that the connections created by streets and paths around the city should be enhanced and not hindered by development. Encroachments brought about by development should be interactive such as bus stop seats and dining shades erected along a sidewalk. The open space that is encouraged acts as a connecting link between the parks and the neighborhood something that is intended to provide a healthy lifestyle for the residents.

The tricky role of trying to accommodate different functions while at the same time respecting the streets in the urban area gives comfort to the residents. Ultimately design should creatively find a way to relate old ways and new ways and bring out the unexpected. This is innovation. Articulation is concerned with combining materials and details at a reasonable scale that appeals to human nature. This coupled with definition gives the element of design life.

Sustainable design is another important factor that is fundamental to the proper use of land. The whole idea behind this is to minimize the negative impact that development could cause to the environment. This is achieved through incorporating technology and modern building design in construction. This also reduces pollution, energy consumption and waste production. Building constructed through this means must also meet safety standards, be economical, be functional, comfortable and have a pleasing aesthetic. This method of construction has its advantage which are reduced operating costs, construction costs, increased productivity and less negative effects to the environment.

The health of the community is another vital aspect that is factored into the use of land. The development carried out should be able to encourage and promote healthy living among the residents. There is a link between built infrastructure and health that is brought about by land patterns. The use of land patterns determines whether a community has a healthy development plan or not. This goes In hand with the accessible design aspect. The design will determine the accessibility to opportunities in employment and to government services. The design should be able to cater even for people with disabilities to reach and access these services. All this will be aimed at improving the community’s visual quality and functionality to improve the life of the future generations. This however should not be done at the expensive of the current generation.


The land element is comprehensive and covers the design and the land patterns even creating districts to specifically cater for unique land needs and protection of historical buildings that have value to the natives and residents. However, the land use plan does not go into details on how it will facilitate the paying of tax, and how if any, the ways in which it will affect tax payers. It should give the details of land tax and whether the proposed new designs will enhance and make it easier for residents to afford the land tax or not.

Work Cited

  •,. ‘City Of Tempe, AZ : General Plan 2040’. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
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