An Examination of the Issues and the Resilience Plan for the City of Phoenix, Arizona

Born and raised in the city of Phoenix, Arizona and reside in Avondale, Arizona, I have decided to familiarize myself with the city itself and its surroundings in order to work on this assignment. The cities which I selected to work upon are Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale, all of the main hubs of population for the greater Phoenix area. The capital of Arizona is notorious for its scorching Summer heat and the variety of biomes within its proximity, all working hand in hand to sustain life in the state yet are capable of changing our climates for the better or worse.

In regards to climate change, the city itself remains vulnerable to its own heat; this means that the rising temperatures affect the flora and fauna, especially when wild fires take place around the city, much like those which occur in California more frequently. The climate change alters as well with the human activity with the current population size. For a city that relies on water and the way in which we live, it requires a larger amount of water to be maintained in order to live properly and remain sustainable.

As well as transportation and the emissions that are let into the air which eventually affect the quality of our air which remains trapped within the Valley of mountains which we are surrounded by. As a whole, the greater phoenix area sustains a large population and a dry variety of fauna, but what affects us the most is the state in which we live, and the way we travel on a daily basis.

The vulnerability of Phoenix when it comes to climate change relies heavily on our surroundings, meaning that the dam that we rely on for water must remain intact in order to replenish our water sources frequently. Also, since Phoenix is located in a valley surrounded by mountains, the pollution we produce stays trapped in our area and our climate can become affected by what we place into our air. This city has also become one that is growing rapidly and is expanding constantly as our state borders another country and many move to our state for retirement, because of this the resources that are utilized are being increased and the emissions placed into our air affect our climate in the long run.

The city of Phoenix may become a desolate, arid desert-scape if nothing is altered, and we continue living as we currently do. Steps need to be taken in order to increase resiliency, much like focusing on local resources and maintaining them rather than using them without thought of how they may be replenished. Arizona itself is located in the Sonoran Desert and our climate is already dry, requiring water to maintain survival of fauna and the local population.

As shown above, the city of Phoenix does not score the highest in all categories, rather it does well in a few and desperately needs aid in others. If the way we run things currently remained the same, the city’s infrastructure would easily fail and the comfort of the population would not increase. The categories posted above do not have to do with climate change specifically, but the way in which we live to sustain ourselves to reach the proper stability and environment through business correlates with what we do to our environment physically, eventually harming or improving our home. The way we can change our built environment to increase its resiliency goes straight towards our business infrastructure.

As a desert, many of our needs are met through transporting goods across the state and transporting our necessary water supply the same way. In order to supply ourselves with energy, the state has implemented businesses to satisfy our need to run our wires throughout our lives. By instilling power plants, the needs of several thousand inhabitants have been met in order to meet the needs of our businesses as well – but we have harmed the environment by doing so. These power plants harm our environment with the radiation they emit and the nutrients they take from the soil and replace with harmful radiation ways as well. If there were to be an explosion at one of the many power plants we have located in the Valley, the city area would essentially be taken down to ground zero in terms of health, much like the explosions that occurred in Japan.

The transportation system can be improved to increase resiliency by including a wider variation of City public transportation and additional lines to the current light rail system. By doing so, the transportation to different businesses will aid the working class and minimize the emissions spread into the atmosphere. The amount of vehicles in the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale easily outnumber the amount of public transportation seats available. If the cities were able to increase this occupancy and make the transportation more adaptable in terms of location pick-ups and drop-offs, it would increase the amount of working class people who would like to utilize these systems.

At the current state of things, public transportation is looked down upon by the working class and by improving its quality and efficiency this has the power to change. To increase resiliency and improve our ranking for economic diversification, the working class should be able to commit themselves to work more efficiently, and the traffic problems we face in Arizona easily affect the working class at large.

By spending a large portion of time in their vehicles daily the need and want to be at work once there declines, further decreasing work ethic and decreasing the economic diversity problem. An effective way to implement a resilience plan for the Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale area would be to look at the larger picture of the city’s infrastructure and pinpoint the areas of which need the most work. This will vary for each city individually but by pinpointing specific areas it will be easier to determine what can be done to improve its resiliency.

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