This study addresses the social and physical constraints and opportunities for South Mountain Village, particularly along the Rio Salado as it intersects with the proposed light rail extension on Central Avenue. The primary goals guiding this document are ecological restoration, social and physical connectivity, maintenance, management, development and future planning. This study discusses the history of the Rio Salado riparian area, analyses current riparian conditions, and provides context from similar cases both locally and nationally.
It has been demonstrated that access to recreational opportunities can improve the livelihood and reduce negative health effects for residents nearby. With this in mind, the physical connectivity of South Mountain residents is assessed to determine the degree of accessibility to recreational areas of the Rio Salado. This analysis will also be used to address areas in which residents do not have equitable access and will be used to guide recommendations to increase that access. Additionally, as growth occurs, existing social vulnerability concerns are addressed in regard to marginalized populations relying on the area’s ecological and grey infrastructure for refuge.
As the Rio Salado 2.0 Project and the Valley Metro South Central light rail extension begins construction and the opportunity to develop increases, residents and business owners are concerned that redevelopment will affect the integrity and connectivity of the area. This study outlines how these changes may affect stakeholders while keeping the area accessible and equitable for all. Evaluation of the sites and parcels surrounding the Rio Salado for future development while taking into account its rich history and needs of the community is important for the community and the City of Phoenix as a whole. This study incorporates concepts from the Rio Salado Beyond the Banks Area Plan and other existing plans and regulations for the area. This study aims to provide a roadmap for future development along the Rio Salado at South Mountain Village in a sustainable and equitable way.