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Tempe City

Tempe City Hall is located at 31 East Fifth Street, Tempe AZ 85281; phone: 480-350-8242.

Selleh House, ca. 1940, 1104 South Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ, National Register

Photo: Selleh House, ca. 1940, 1104 South Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ. Home was designed by architect, Kemper Goodwin [1906-1997]. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Photograph by User:Mcmillin24 (own work), 2009, [cc-by-3.0 (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed March, 2014.

The City of Tempe [1] consists of 40 square miles in the heart of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It straddles the Salt River and is generally bounded on the east and west by freeways, with two additional freeways, one bisecting the city and one running across its northern section. Tempe is an integral part of the Phoenix metropolitan area and is landlocked on all sides by adjacent communities: Scottsdale to the north, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Mesa to the east, Chandler to the south and Guadalupe and Phoenix to the west.

Tempe is one of the oldest founded communities in the Valley and historically has been one of the most densely populated. Its position in the region is both advantageous and challenging. Land-locked Tempe falls in the middle of a large transportation commute zone, significantly impacting land use planning, environmental issues and public health and safety. These impacts will be addressed in detail within the respective elements of the Plan. Tempe's planning area is five miles wide by eight miles long, or about forty square miles. Within this area are approximately 24.2 linear miles of freeway, 23 linear miles of canal, 30 linear miles of 230 kV and 500 kV power lines, 14 linear miles of active railroad lines and two miles of inactive lines, and five linear miles of departure/landing air flight corridor. In spite of these tremendous right-of-way impacts, Tempe has some of the most desirable residential and commercial areas in the Valley. Neighborhoods within Tempe may need support to maintain the quality of life residents have enjoyed.

  • Any resident in Tempe can reach City Hall within 30 minutes
  • Freeways I-10 and Loop 101 are at the west and east boundaries of the city
  • Highway 60 bisects Tempe and Loop 202 cuts through the northern tip of the city
  • Downtown Tempe is 20 minutes from the State Capitol
  • Adjacent city centers are just 15 minutes from Tempe
  • To the north is the Los Arcos Redevelopment area. Further north is downtown Scottsdale, a regional shopping and tourism area with commuting service employees
  • To the northeast, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community provides significant agricultural open space with views to the Superstition Mountains. This area has tremendous development potential along the freeway corridor
  • Due east, Mesa has a large residential base that commutes west to Tempe and Phoenix
  • To the south, Chandler is developing significant regional commercial attractions along with low density housing for employees commuting north to Tempe and Phoenix
  • To the west, Guadalupe is a unique demographic population that historically and culturally enhances the region
  • Also to the west, Phoenix provides a large employment draw from surrounding communities to the downtown business and government district
  • Downtown Tempe is five minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • The airport is an economic development, tourism and marketing asset to Tempe. However, it significantly contributes to air quality degradation and noise pollution in the northern half of the city These issues are addressed in the Land Use, Growth, Environment and Transportation elements of this document
  • Tempe, along with Phoenix and Scottsdale, is part of a tri-city historical, cultural, educational and recreational attraction
  • The Papago Park area in North Tempe adjoins Phoenix's Papago Park. This area contains many regional attractions promoted by the Papago Salado Association on behalf of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe. These attractions are identified in the Recreation Element
  • Tempe surrounds Arizona State University, a campus of approximately 50,000 students from 120 countries

In the heart of the downtown, Arizona State University (ASU) is the largest university in Arizona and one of the largest in the Country. As of 2001, 17,573 students reported Tempe as their place of residence: comprising 9.5 percent of Tempe's total population. The University significantly contributes to the cultural and educational context of Tempe. Many historic buildings are located in and around the campus.

  1. Development Services Department, City of Tempe, Tempe General Plan 2030, adopted December, 2003
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