A lot has changed in the past 24 years, in Flagstaff, Arizona and around the world. The simple fact that this exhibit website and its contents exist is proof of that. Many of the original contributors to the Flagstaff 2020 community visioning process have been asking: Did the 2020 vision become reality? What happened in Phase Four?
In reality, there was no “ongoing entity” established to check on the progress of Flagstaff 2020 after the initial visioning process concluded in 1997. This could be one of the reasons Flagstaff’s citizens still have many of the same concerns in 2020 that they had in 1996, like housing costs and managing growth. But that doesn’t mean the 2020 vision and action plans weren’t worthwhile for the greater Flagstaff community.
In the clip below, Kathy Turner reflects on what the Flagstaff 2020 vision means and how it could be used in the year 2020. Watch Turner’s entire oral history interview via Digital Collections.
To hear what others involved in the Flagstaff 2020 community visioning process think about it today, check out Reflections in 2020.
Looking through A Vision for Our Community, some of Flagstaff 2020’s plans did come to fruition. There are several action items that Flagstaffians can be proud of having achieved.
A Vision for Our Community lays out several action items related to the business and economic development of downtown Flagstaff. Several items, including the Rio de Flag project, preservation efforts for historic buildings, and the development of the Southside neighborhood, are ongoing issues for the city in 2020.
Construction of Heritage Square
The Managing Growth Action Team envisioned Flagstaff having a “downtown community square [which] contributes to a sense of place.” Heritage Square, at the corner of Aspen Avenue and Leroux Street, formally opened in 1999. Today, it is the site of many community events, such as concerts, movie screenings, and educational events.
Regional Urban Growth Boundary
Perhaps the most important accomplishment of the Flagstaff 2020 community visioning process was the establishment of a Regional Urban Growth Boundary. Flagstaff was the first city in Arizona to establish a voter-approved urban growth boundary ahead of statewide legislation to establish such urban growth boundaries passed in 1998 and 2000.
Several members of the Flagstaff 2020 Management Committee and Action Teams served on the Regional Task Force dedicated to Flagstaff’s land use plan.
The 2001 Flagstaff Area Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan produced by the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, and Flagstaff Metropolitan Planning Organization (FMPO), states “Vision 2020′s goals are the foundation for the Regional Plan.”
Recycling and Solid Waste Services
Since the 1990s, Flagstaff adopted an effective recycling and solid waste pick-up system, as well as developed recycling education tools for the public. As recycling has recently changed nationwide, currently the City of Flagstaff’s Sustainability Section is working on a plan to achieve “zero waste” in the city by the year 2050. For more information, see the City of Flagstaff’s Trash and Recycling website.
Expansion of Transportation Systems
Flagstaff has improved its transportation systems to increase public transit options and multi-model transportation. The Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) was established in 2001 and “services nearly 2 million riders a year” via Mountain Line, Mountain Lift, and Mountain Link. Learn more about NAIPTA via their website.
The Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) is a city-wide network of hiking and bike paths totaling 56 miles, with another 75 miles in works within the City of Flagstaff’s master plan. Learn more about FUTS via the City of Flagstaff FUTS webpage.