Ten+ Planning Lessons from Page, Arizona

Source: lakepowelllife.com

Some might be wondering where the heck Page, Arizona is located and secondly, how could a town founded in 1957 offer up any planning advice. Well, Page sits close to the Arizona-Utah border where the Glen Canyon Dam was constructed to create enormous Lake Powell. The city has a lot of insights to offer for a relatively new town. Having visited Page in 1970 when it was but a mere toddler and again in 2019 now that it’s a fully matured city, I think this blogpost can offer a few interesting insights to planners and others interested in cities generally. In fact, I’m even going to add an extra planning lesson from Page.

Stunning Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ

  • A government camp that evolved into a dusty, newly planned town, can mature into an inviting and captivating small city, even without a traditional downtown.
  • However, the original car-oriented shopping areas of Page’s downtown are starting to look a tad worn in places and will need to be re-energized with higher densities and other new urbanism strategies.
  • Whoever selected the location of Page blessed both its residents and visitors with some of the most beautiful vistas on the entire planet.
  • The mix of semi-traditional grid pattern atop the plateau and curvilinear streets radiating outward and downward from there successfully takes advantage of the gorgeous terrain and scenic vistas.
  • Even an enormous coal-fired electric generating plant (soon to be decommissioned) and acres of electric lines emanating from the hydroelectric dam cannot detract from the astounding beauty of this location.
  • Not all amazing geology, topography, and archaeology features are immediately apparent the eye – Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons are testaments to this fact.
  • The cluster of 12 houses of worship along South Lake Powell Boulevard and the collection of tiny mid-century motels (originally apartments for dam construction workers) along 8th Avenue are an unexpected treat that helps set Page apart from most other communities.
  • The limited 17 square mile area acquired from the Navajo Nation to establish Page is a welcome deterrent to sprawl and requires the wise use of land.
  • Mass tourism is even a problem here in the high desert of Northern Arizona, as the number of tourists flooding through the two Antelope Canyons and practically spilling over the cliff at Horseshoe Bend was simply jaw-dropping.
  • The diverse mix of cultures found in and around Page – particularly Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo-American – are a refreshing civic feature for such a young city.
  • Hats off to Page for establishing, early on, a 10 mile long non-motorized multi-use trail (The Rim Trail) that encircles the entire city. Well done!

Source: cityofpage.org




This entry was posted in Active transportation, Alternative transportation, archaeology, architecture, bicycling, cities, civics, commerce, culture, deserts, diversity, downtown, economic development, economic gardening, entertainment, environment, geography, Geology, government, health, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, land use, Native Americans, nature, placemaking, planning, spatial design, sprawl, topography, tourism, transportation, Travel, zoning and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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