Phoenix, Arizona
Overview
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data. It is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area
Phoenix Metropolitan Area
The Phoenix metropolitan area, often referred to as The Valley of the Sun, is a metropolitan area, centered on the city of Phoenix, that includes much of the central part of the US state of Arizona...

 (also known as the Valley of the Sun), and is the 14th largest metro area by population in the United States with about 4.2 million people in 2010.
Encyclopedia
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data. It is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area
Phoenix Metropolitan Area
The Phoenix metropolitan area, often referred to as The Valley of the Sun, is a metropolitan area, centered on the city of Phoenix, that includes much of the central part of the US state of Arizona...

 (also known as the Valley of the Sun), and is the 14th largest metro area by population in the United States with about 4.2 million people in 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Maricopa County
Maricopa County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*73.0% White*5.0% Black*2.1% Native American*3.5% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.5% Two or more races*12.7% Other races*29.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area. Phoenix is the largest capital city in the United States and the only state capital with over 1,000,000 people.

Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881, after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River
Salt River (Arizona)
The Salt River is a stream in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is the largest tributary of the Gila River. The river is about long. Its drainage basin is about large. The longest of the Salt River's many tributaries is the Verde River...

, close to the confluence with the Gila River
Gila River
The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado River, 650 miles long, in the southwestern states of New Mexico and Arizona.-Description:...

. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

, William Rehnquist
William Rehnquist
William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer, jurist, and political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the 16th Chief Justice of the United States...

, John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor is an American jurist who was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006. O'Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981...

. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.

Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert
Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which straddles part of the United States-Mexico border and covers large parts of the U.S. states of Arizona and California and the northwest Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is one of the largest and hottest...

, Phoenix has a subtropical arid climate. In summer average high temperatures are typically over 100 °F (38 °C) and over 120 °F (49 °C) on occasion.

American Indian period

For more than 1,000 years, the Hohokam
Hohokam
Hohokam is one of the four major prehistoric archaeological Oasisamerica traditions of what is now the American Southwest. Many local residents put the accent on the first syllable . Variant spellings in current, official usage include Hobokam, Huhugam and Huhukam...

 peoples occupied the land that would become Phoenix. The Hohokam created roughly 135 miles (217 km) of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable
Arable land
In geography and agriculture, arable land is land that can be used for growing crops. It includes all land under temporary crops , temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow...

. Paths of these canals would later become used for the modern Arizona Canal
Arizona Canal
The Arizona Canal is a major canal in central Maricopa County that led to the founding of several communities, now among the wealthier neighborhoods of suburban Phoenix, in the late 1880s. Flood irrigation of residential yards is still common in these neighborhoods, using a system of lateral...

, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct
Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct
The Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct is that section of the Central Arizona Project, an aqueduct system in Arizona, United States, formerly known as the Granite Reef Division....

. The Hohokam also carried out extensive trade with the nearby Anasazi, Mogollon and Sinagua
Sinagua
The Sinagua were a pre-Columbian cultural group occupying an area in central Arizona between the Little Colorado River and the Salt River including the Verde Valley and significant portions of the Mogollon Rim country between approximately 500 AD and 1425 AD.Early Sinagua sites consist of pit houses...

, in addition to Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that a Hohokam witness of the supernova that occurred in 1006 CE
SN 1006
SN 1006 was a supernova, widely seen on Earth beginning in the year 1006 AD; Earth was about 7,200 light-years away from the supernova. It was the brightest apparent magnitude stellar event in recorded history reaching an estimated -7.5 visual magnitude...

, created a representation of the event in the form of a petroglyph that can be found in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
The White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a large regional park located in west-central Maricopa County, Arizona. Encompassing of desert and mountain landscape, it is the largest regional park in the county...

 west of Phoenix. This has been interpreted as the first known North American representation of the supernova.

It is believed that between 1300 and 1450, periods of drought and severe floods led to the Hohokam civilization's abandonment of the area. Local Akimel O'odham settlements, thought to be the descendants of the formerly urbanized Hohokam, concentrated on the Gila River
Gila River
The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado River, 650 miles long, in the southwestern states of New Mexico and Arizona.-Description:...

. Some family groups did continue to live near the Salt River, but no large villages existed. Yavapai
Yavapai people
Yavapai are an indigenous people in Arizona. Historically, the Yavapai were divided into four geographical bands that considered themselves separate peoples: the Tolkapaya, or Western Yavapai, the Yavapé, or Northwestern Yavapai, the Kwevkapaya, or Southeastern Yavapai, and Wipukpa, or Northeastern...

 also had settlements in the area. Later, Maricopa peoples fleeing enemy tribes, came from the lower Gila River near its confluence with the Colorado River
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

, and settled alongside the Akimel O'odham.

Father Eusebio Kino
Eusebio Kino
Eusebio Francisco Kino S.J. was an Italian Roman Catholic priest who became famous in what is now northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States in the region then known as the Pimaria Alta...

 (1645–1711) was among the few Europeans to travel here in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Spanish focused mostly on the Pima
Pima
The Pima are a group of American Indians living in an area consisting of what is now central and southern Arizona. The long name, "Akimel O'odham", means "river people". They are closely related to the Tohono O'odham and the Hia C-ed O'odham...

 missions in southern Arizona; the Salt River Valley had almost no European inhabitants for several centuries before the 1860s.

Early United States period

American and European "Mountain Men" likely came through the area, while exploring what is now central Arizona during the early 19th century. They obtained valuable beaver
American Beaver
The North American Beaver is the only species of beaver in the Americas, native to North America and introduced to South America. In the United States and Canada, where no other species of beaver occurs, it is usually simply referred to as "beaver"...

 and otter pelts; these animals, as well as deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

 and Mexican wolves
Mexican Wolf
The Mexican Wolf is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf. It is native to North America, where it is the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies.- Physical features :...

, often lived in the Salt River
Salt River (Arizona)
The Salt River is a stream in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is the largest tributary of the Gila River. The river is about long. Its drainage basin is about large. The longest of the Salt River's many tributaries is the Verde River...

 Valley when water supplies and temperatures allowed.

When the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, most of Mexico's northern zone passed to United States control, and a portion of it was made the New Mexico Territory
New Mexico Territory
thumb|right|240px|Proposed boundaries for State of New Mexico, 1850The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of...

 (including what is now Phoenix) shortly afterward. The Gadsden Purchase
Gadsden Purchase
The Gadsden Purchase is a region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that was purchased by the United States in a treaty signed by James Gadsden, the American ambassador to Mexico at the time, on December 30, 1853. It was then ratified, with changes, by the U.S...

 was completed in 1853. The land was contested ground during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

: both the Confederate Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory (CSA)
The Territory of Arizona was a territory claimed by the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, between 1861 and 1865. It consisted of the portion of the New Mexico Territory south of the 34th parallel north including parts of the modern states of New Mexico and Arizona. Its...

, organized by Southern sympathizers in 1861 with its capital in Tucson, and the United States Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
The Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when it was admitted to the Union as the 48th state....

, formed by the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in 1863 with its capital at Fort Whipple
Fort Whipple, Arizona
Fort Whipple was a U.S. Army post which served as Arizona Territory's capital prior to the founding of Prescott, Arizona. The post was founded by Edward Banker Willis in January 1864 in Chino Valley, Arizona, but was moved in May 1864 to Granite Creek near the present day location of Prescott. ...

 (now Prescott
Prescott, Arizona
Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, USA. It was designated "Arizona's Christmas City" by Arizona Governor Rose Mofford in the late 1980s....

), included the Salt River Valley within their borders. The valley was not militarily important, however, and did not witness conflict.

In 1863, the mining town of Wickenburg
Wickenburg, Arizona
Wickenburg is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 6,423.-Geography:Wickenburg is located at ....

 was the first to be established in what is now Maricopa County.
Maricopa County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*73.0% White*5.0% Black*2.1% Native American*3.5% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.5% Two or more races*12.7% Other races*29.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 At the time this county did not exist, as the land was within Yavapai County
Yavapai County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*89.3% White*0.6% Black*1.7% Native American*0.8% Asian*0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*2.5% Two or more races*5.0% Other races*13.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 along with the other major town of Prescott.

The US Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to quell Native American uprisings. Hispanic workers serving the fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, which was the first non-native settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. In later years, other nearby settlements would form and merge to become the city of Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

, but this community was incorporated after Phoenix.

Founding

The history of Phoenix as a city begins with Jack Swilling
Jack Swilling
John W. "Jack" Swilling founded the city of Phoenix, Arizona, in 1867. Other pioneers and travelers had seen and commented on the ancient Hohokam canals in that area, but it was J. W. Swilling who organized the first successful modern irrigation project in Arizona's Salt River Valley...

, a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 (1861-1865), who had come west to seek wealth in the 1850s, and worked primarily in Wickenburg
Wickenburg, Arizona
Wickenburg is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 6,423.-Geography:Wickenburg is located at ....

. On an outing in 1857, he stopped to rest at the foot of the White Tank Mountains
White Tank Mountains
The White Tank Mountains is a mountain range located in central Arizona. The mountains are on the western periphery of the Phoenix metropolitan area, primarily flanked by the suburban cities of Buckeye to the south and west, and Surprise to the north and east...

. Swilling observed the abandoned river valley and considered its potential for farming, much like that already cultivated by the military further east, near Fort McDowell. The terrain
Terrain
Terrain, or land relief, is the vertical and horizontal dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used...

 and climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 were optimal; only a regular source of water was necessary. The existence of the old Hohokam
Hohokam
Hohokam is one of the four major prehistoric archaeological Oasisamerica traditions of what is now the American Southwest. Many local residents put the accent on the first syllable . Variant spellings in current, official usage include Hobokam, Huhugam and Huhukam...

 ruins, showing clear paths for canals, made Swilling imagine new possibilities.

Swilling had a series of canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

s built, which followed those of the ancient Native American system. A small community formed that same year about 4 miles (6 km) east of the present city. It was first called Pumpkinville, due to the large pumpkins that flourished in fields along the canals. Later it was called Swilling's Mill in his honor, though later renamed to Helling Mill, Mill City, and finally, East Phoenix. Swilling, a former Confederate
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 soldier, wanted to name the city "Stonewall", after General Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson
ຄຽשת״ׇׂׂׂׂ֣|birth_place= Clarksburg, Virginia |death_place=Guinea Station, Virginia|placeofburial=Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeteryLexington, Virginia|placeofburial_label= Place of burial|image=...

. Others suggested the name of "Salina". However, neither name was supported by the community.

Finally, Lord Darrell Duppa
Phillip Darrell Duppa
Phillip Darrell Duppa was a pioneer in the settlement of Arizona prior to its statehood. Duppa, who also called himself Lord Darrell Duppa, was born in Kent, England in 1832...

 suggested the name "Phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

", as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.

The Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County
Yavapai County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*89.3% White*0.6% Black*1.7% Native American*0.8% Asian*0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*2.5% Two or more races*5.0% Other races*13.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, which at the time encompassed Phoenix, officially recognized the new town on May 4, 1865, and formed an election precinct. The first post office was established on June 15, 1868, with Jack Swilling serving as the postmaster
Postmaster
A postmaster is the head of an individual post office. Postmistress is not used anymore in the United States, as the "master" component of the word refers to a person of authority and has no gender quality...

. With the number of residents growing (the 1870 U.S. census reported about a total Salt River Valley population of 240), a town site needed to be selected. On October 20, 1872, the residents held a meeting to decide where to locate it. A 320 acres (1.3 km²) plot of land was purchased in what is now the downtown business section.

On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County
Maricopa County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*73.0% White*5.0% Black*2.1% Native American*3.5% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.5% Two or more races*12.7% Other races*29.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, the sixth one formed, by dividing Yavapai County. The first election for county office was held in 1871, when Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff. Barnum ran unopposed as the other two candidates, John A. Chenowth and Jim Favorite, had a shootout that ended in Favorite's death and Chenowth withdrawing from the race.

Several lots of land were sold in 1870 at an average price of $48. The first church opened in 1871, as did the first store. Public school had its first class on September 5, 1872, in the courtroom of the county building. By October 1873, a small school was completed on Center Street (now Central Avenue
Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona
The Central Avenue Corridor is a significant stretch of north-south Central Avenue, in Phoenix, Arizona. Roughly bounded by Camelback Road to its north, and McDowell Road to its south, this is one of Phoenix's most vital and heavily trafficked stretches of roadway...

). Land entry was recorded by the Florence Land Office on November 19, 1873, and a declaratory statement filed in the Prescott
Prescott, Arizona
Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, USA. It was designated "Arizona's Christmas City" by Arizona Governor Rose Mofford in the late 1980s....

 Land Office on February 15, 1872. President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 issued a land patent
Land patent
A land patent is a land grant made patent by the sovereign lord over the land in question. To make a such a grant “patent”, such a sovereign lord must document the land grant, securely sign and seal the document and openly publish the same to the public for all to see...

 for the present site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. The total value of the Phoenix Townsite was $550, with downtown lots selling for between $7 and $11 each. A short time later, a telegraph
Telegraphy
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code which is known to both sender and receiver...

 office, 16 saloons
Bar (establishment)
A bar is a business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.Bars provide stools or chairs that are placed at tables or counters for their patrons. Some bars have entertainment on a stage, such as a live band, comedians, go-go...

, four dance halls and two banks were opened.

Incorporation

By 1881, Phoenix had outgrown its original townsite-commissioner form of government. The 11th Territorial Legislature
11th Arizona Territorial Legislature
The 11th Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly was a session of the Arizona Territorial Legislature which convened on January 3, 1881, in Prescott, Arizona Territory.-Background:...

 passed "The Phoenix Charter Bill", incorporating Phoenix and providing for a mayor-council government. The bill was signed by Governor John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

 on February 25, 1881. Phoenix was incorporated with a population of approximately 2,500, and on May 3, 1881, Phoenix held its first city election. Judge John T. Alsap
John T. Alsap
John Tabor Alsap was an American physician, lawyer, politician, and farmer active in the early days of Arizona Territory...

 defeated James D. Monihon, 127 to 107, to become the city's first mayor. In early 1888, the city offices were moved into the new City Hall, at Washington and Central (later the site of the city bus terminal, until Central Station was built in the 1990s). This building also provided temporary offices for the territorial government, when it moved to Phoenix by the 15th Territorial Legislature
15th Arizona Territorial Legislature
The 15th Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly was a session of the Arizona Territorial Legislature which began on January 21, 1889, in Prescott, Arizona, moved to Phoenix on February 7 and did not adjourn till April 11...

 in 1889. name="TRANS">"Out of the Ashes, Transportation: Horses and Rails." City of Phoenix. Retrieved on November 26, 2006.

The coming of the railroad in the 1880s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. A spur of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Phoenix and Maricopa, was extended from Maricopa into Tempe in the late 1880s. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of wagon. Phoenix became a trade center, with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In response, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888. The Phoenix Street Railway electrified its mule-drawn streetcar lines in the 1890s, with streetcar service continuing until a 1947 fire. From 1911 to 1926, an interurban line carried passengers and express packages between Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

 and downtown Phoenix.

Modern Phoenix (1900–present)

In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 signed the National Reclamation Act
Newlands Reclamation Act
The Reclamation Act of 1902 is a United States federal law that funded irrigation projects for the arid lands of 20 states in the American West....

, allowing for dams to be built on western streams for reclamation purposes. Residents were quick to enhance this by organizing the Salt River Valley Water Users' Association (on February 7, 1903), to manage the water and power supply. The agency still exists as part of the Salt River Project
Salt River Project
The Salt River Project is the umbrella name for two separate entities: the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, an agency of the state of Arizona that serves as an electrical utility for the Phoenix metropolitan area, and the Salt River Valley Water Users' Association, a...

. The Roosevelt Dam east of the valley was completed in 1911. Several new lakes were formed in the surrounding mountain ranges. In the Phoenix area, the river is now often dry due to large irrigation diversions, taking with it the large populations of migrating birds, beaver dams, and cottonwood trees that had lived on its waters.

On February 14, 1912, under President William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, Phoenix became the capital of the newly formed state of Arizona. Phoenix was considered preferable, as both territorial and state capital, due to its more central location, compared to Tucson or Prescott. It was smaller than Tucson, but outgrew that city within the next few decades, to become the state's largest city.

In 1913, Phoenix adopted a new form of government, from mayor-council
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

 to council-manager
Council-manager government
The council–manager government form is one of two predominant forms of municipal government in the United States; the other common form of local government is the mayor-council government form, which characteristically occurs in large cities...

, making it one of the first cities in the United States with this form of city government.

During World War II, Phoenix's economy shifted to that of a distribution center, rapidly turning into an embryonic industrial city with mass production of military supplies. Luke Field
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located seven miles west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is also about west of Phoenix, Arizona....

, Williams Field
Williams Air Force Base
Williams Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base, located in Mesa, and about southeast of Phoenix, Arizona.It was active as a training base for both the United States Army Air Forces, as well as the USAF from 1941 until its closure in 1993...

, and Falcon Field
Falcon Field (Arizona)
Falcon Field is a public airport located five miles northeast of the central business district of Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007–2011, it is categorized as a reliever airport.Although most U.S...

, coupled with the giant ground-training center at Hyder
Hyder, Arizona
Hyder is a ghost town and farming community in Yuma County, Arizona, United States. It and surrounding areas houses several different types of fish, shrimp, and other types of farms, one school , and two gas stations/general markets...

, west of Phoenix, brought thousands of new people into Phoenix.

On Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday,...

 night 1942, an illegal prize fight between a champion boxer of a black regiment and a white boxer of another army regiment, degenerated into a melee
Mêlée
Melee , generally refers to disorganized close combat involving a group of fighters. A melee ensues when groups become locked together in combat with no regard to group tactics or fighting as an organized unit; each participant fights as an individual....

 between competing camps. Subsequently, the black regiment left their barracks en masse, and began attacking whites and rioting into downtown. Unable to contain the spreading violence by the black soldiers, local police called in the military. The rioters were met by several military police units that attempted to arrest the rioters. Instead, the rest of the black soldiers based nearby joined the rioters with firearms. The Army quickly responded to the mutiny, and surrounded the area with armored personnel carriers and machine guns, ordering soldiers to use full military force against the mutineers, which resulted in dozens of fatalities. The Colonel of Luke Field, who had oversight of the city, soon declared Army personnel banned from Phoenix. This pressured civic leaders to reform local government, by firing a number of corrupt officials, in turn getting the ban lifted. This same bipartisan effort also successfully convinced the city council to give more power to the city manager to run the government and spend public funds, making Phoenix one of the largest cities in the country to not use the strong mayor
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

 structure for municipal government.

Another wartime incident took place at a Prisoner of War
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 Camp that was established at the site of what is now Papago Park
Papago Park
Papago Park is a municipal park of the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, USA. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.-Description:...

 and Phoenix Zoo
Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest non-profit zoo in the United States. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the zoo was founded by Robert Maytag, a member of the Maytag family, and operates on of land in the Papago Park area of Phoenix. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of...

, for the internment
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 of German soldiers captured in Europe. In 1944, dozens of prisoners had devised a plan to escape from the camp and use boats to go down the nearby Salt River to reach Mexico. However, they were unaware that the river was mostly dry and had not been navigable for decades, and were thus easily apprehended near the camp.

The long established relationships between organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 and the business elite grew after World War II. A primary incident, which marked the post-war face of Phoenix, was its involvement in the Great American streetcar scandal, in which arson and sabotage was added to the list of illegal business activities in destroying the city's mass transit system. A fire in October 1947 destroyed most of the Phoenix Street Railway fleet, making the city choose between implementing a new street railway system, or using buses and cars. Simultaneously, the city began changing the rights of way downtown, expanding street sizes, raising speed rates, thereby lowering the quality of life in many old neighborhoods. As a result of these changes, automobiles became the city's preferred method of transportation. This was followed by a number of the first housing developments that helped spread the size of Phoenix, and in turn enriched many of the area's largest landowners. By 1950, over 100,000 people lived within the city and thousands more in surrounding communities. There were 148 miles (238 km) of paved streets and 163 miles (262 km) of unpaved streets.

Over the next several decades, the city and metropolitan area attracted more growth and became a favored tourist destination for its exotic desert setting and recreational opportunities. Nightlife and civic events concentrated along now skyscraper-flanked Central Avenue. In 1968, the city was surprisingly awarded the Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

 NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 franchise, and the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
The Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum is a 14,870-seat multi-purpose indoor arena in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, located on the grounds of the Arizona State Fair...

 was built. By the 1970s, however, there was rising crime and a decline in business within the downtown core.

Arizona Republic writer Don Bolles
Don Bolles
Don Bolles was an American investigative reporter whose murder in a bombing is linked to the Mafia.-Biography:...

 was murdered by a car bomb in the city in 1976. It was believed that his investigative reporting on organized crime and politics, particularly the relationships in Phoenix between real-estate developers, organized crime, and out-of-state corporations, especially in regards to land and housing fraud, made him a target. Bolles' last words referred to Phoenix land and cattle magnate Kemper Marley, who was widely regarded to have ordered Bolles' murder, as well as John Harvey Adamson, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1977 in return for testimony against contractors Max Dunlap and James Robison. Dunlap was convicted of first degree murder in the case in 1990 and received a life sentence. He died at the Arizona State Prison Complex - Tucson
Arizona State Prison Complex - Tucson
Arizona State Prison Complex – Tucson is one of 13 prison facilities operated by the Arizona Department of Corrections . ASPC-Tucson is located in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, 127 miles south from the state capital of Phoenix, Arizona....

 on July 21, 2009 due to natural causesregards to land and housing fraud, made him a target. Bolles' last words referred to Phoenix land and cattle magnate Kemper Marley. Robison was acquitted, but pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting violence against Adamson.

With the advent of desegregation
Desegregation
Desegregation is the process of ending the separation of two groups usually referring to races. This is most commonly used in reference to the United States. Desegregation was long a focus of the American Civil Rights Movement, both before and after the United States Supreme Court's decision in...

 and the Fair Housing Act, the white flight
White flight
White flight has been a term that originated in the United States, starting in the mid-20th century, and applied to the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions. It was first seen as...

, which had begun with the Great American streetcar scandal accelerated, as the remaining white middle class families fled the growing street gangs, violent crime
Violent crime
A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery. Violent...

, and the drug trade. As a result, by the 1980s, these criminal activities had become public safety issues with the transplanted, noncohesive nature of many neighborhoods, which made crime difficult to monitor. Van Buren Street, East of downtown (near 24th St), became associated with prostitution, and many sections of the city's south and west sides were ravaged by the crack epidemic
Crack Epidemic
The United States crack epidemic refers to the surge of crack houses and crack cocaine use in major cities in the United States between 1984 and 1990...

. The city's crime rates in many categories have improved since that time, but still exceed state and national averages .

After the Salt River flooded in 1980 and damaged many bridges, the Arizona Department of Transportation
Arizona Department of Transportation
The Arizona Department of Transportation is an Arizona state government agency charged with facilitating mobility within the state. In addition to managing the state's highway system, the agency is also involved with public transportation and municipal airports...

 and Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 worked together and temporarily operated a train service, referred in Metro Light Rail (Phoenix)
METRO Light Rail (Phoenix)
Metro Light Rail is a 32 km light rail line operating in the U.S. state of Arizona. Part of the Valley Metro public transit system, it serves the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Construction began in March 2005; operation started December 27, 2008...

 as the "Hattie B." line, between central Phoenix and the southeast suburbs. It was discontinued because of high operating costs and a lack of interest from local authorities in maintaining funding.

The famous "Phoenix Lights
Phoenix Lights
The Phoenix Lights were a series of widely sighted unidentified flying objects observed in the skies over the U.S...

" UFO
Unidentified flying object
A term originally coined by the military, an unidentified flying object is an unusual apparent anomaly in the sky that is not readily identifiable to the observer as any known object...

 sightings took place in March 1997. The Baseline Killer
Baseline Killer
The Baseline Killer was one of the two simultaneously occurring serial killer cases which terrorized the Phoenix metro area, between August 2005 and June 2006....

 and Serial Shooter
Serial Shooter
The Serial Shooter refers to what authorities now believe to be two men who committed multiple drive-by shootings targeting random pedestrians. The shootings occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, between May 2005 and August 2006, simultaneous to the search for the serial killer known as the...

 crime sprees occurred in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Steele Indian School Park was the site of a mid-air collision between two news helicopters
2007 Phoenix news helicopter collision
The 2007 Phoenix news helicopter collision occurred on July 27, 2007 at exactly 12:46:20 P.M. MST when two AS-350 AStar helicopters from KNXV-TV and KTVK news stations collided in mid-air above Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix, Arizona while covering a police pursuit...

 in July 2007. In 2008, Squaw Peak, the second tallest mountain in the city, was officially renamed Piestewa Peak
Piestewa Peak
Piestewa Peak , at 2608 feet is the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, after Camelback Mountain, and the third highest in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. It is located in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Piestewa Peak is named in honor of Army Spc...

 after Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, an Arizona native who was the first Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 woman to die in combat with the U.S. military, and the first American female casualty in the 2003 Iraq War.

Phoenix has maintained a growth streak in recent years, growing by 24.2% before 2007. This made it the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States following only Las Vegas
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

, whose population had grown by 29.2% in that time. In 2008, Phoenix was one of the hardest hit by the Subprime mortgage crisis
Subprime mortgage crisis
The U.S. subprime mortgage crisis was one of the first indicators of the late-2000s financial crisis, characterized by a rise in subprime mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures, and the resulting decline of securities backed by said mortgages....

. In early 2009, the median home price was $150,000, down from its $262,000 peak in recent years. Crime rates in Phoenix have gone down in recent years and once troubled, decaying neighborhoods such as South Mountain
South Phoenix
South Phoenix, also known as the South Mountain Village, South Mountain District or SoMo, is a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. It has the boundaries of 27th Avenue to the west, 48th Sreet to the east, the Salt River to the north and South Mountain Park to the south...

, Alhambra
Alhambra, Phoenix, Arizona
Alhambra is one of the fifteen urban villages of Phoenix, Arizona. Located only a couple miles from downtown, Alhambra is an example of older suburban development in Phoenix. The boundaries of the village are marked on the west by 43rd Avenue/City of Glendale, 7th Street on the east, Northern...

, and Maryvale
West Phoenix
West Phoenix is a neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Maryvale isthe predominant neighborhood of the near west side, from about 35th Avenue west to 83rd Avenue and from I-10 north to the boundary with the suburb of Glendale at Camelback Road. First developed in the 1950s and 1960s by...

 have recovered and stabilized. Recently Downtown Phoenix and the central core have experienced renewed interest and growth, resulting in numerous restaurant, stores and businesses opening or relocating to central Phoenix.

Geography

Phoenix is located at 33°27' North, 112°4' West (33.4485°, -112.0738°) in the Salt River Valley, or "Valley of the Sun", in central Arizona. It lies at a mean elevation of 1,117 feet (340 m), in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert
Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert is a North American desert which straddles part of the United States-Mexico border and covers large parts of the U.S. states of Arizona and California and the northwest Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California, and Baja California Sur. It is one of the largest and hottest...

.

Other than the mountains in and around the city, the topography of Phoenix is generally flat, allowing the city's main streets to run on a precise grid with wide, open-spaced roadways.

The Salt River
Salt River (Arizona)
The Salt River is a stream in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is the largest tributary of the Gila River. The river is about long. Its drainage basin is about large. The longest of the Salt River's many tributaries is the Verde River...

 runs westward through the city of Phoenix; the riverbed is often dry or a trickle due to large irrigation diversions, except after the area's infrequent rainstorms or when more water is released from upstream dams. The city of Tempe has built two inflatable dams in the Salt River bed to create a year-round recreational lake, called Tempe Town Lake
Tempe Town Lake
Tempe Town Lake is a reservoir that occupies a portion of the currently dry riverbed of the Salt River as it passes through the city of Tempe, Arizona just north of Tempe Butte....

. The dams are deflated to allow the river to flow unimpeded during releases. Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Lake Pleasant Regional Park is a large outdoors recreation area straddling the Maricopa and Yavapai county border northwest of Phoenix, Arizona...

 is located in Northwest Phoenix within the suburb of Peoria, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Peoria is a city in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in the U.S. state of Arizona. Located primarily in Maricopa County, it is a major suburb of Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau releases, the population of the city is 154,065. Peoria is currently the sixth largest city in Arizona for land...



The Phoenix area is surrounded by the McDowell Mountains
McDowell Mountains
The McDowell Mountain Range is located about twenty miles north-east of Phoenix, Arizona, and may be seen from most places throughout the city. The range is composed of miocene deposits left nearly five million years ago. The McDowells share borders with the cities of Fountain Hills, Scottsdale,...

 to the northeast, the White Tank Mountains
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
The White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a large regional park located in west-central Maricopa County, Arizona. Encompassing of desert and mountain landscape, it is the largest regional park in the county...

 to the west, the Superstition Mountains
Superstition Mountains
The Superstition Mountains , popularly referred to as "The Superstitions", are a range of mountains in Arizona located to the east of the Phoenix metropolitan area...

 far to the east, and the Sierra Estrella
Sierra Estrella
The Sierra Estrella is a mountain range located southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. Much of the range falls within the Gila River Indian Reservation, but of BLM land is protected as the Sierra Estrella Wilderness.-Description:...

 to the southwest. Within the city are the Phoenix Mountains
Phoenix Mountains
The Phoenix Mountains are a mountain range located in central Phoenix, Arizona. With the exception of Mummy Mountain, they are part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve...

 and South Mountains
South Mountains (Arizona)
The South Mountains , known locally as simply South Mountain, is a mountain range in central Arizona in south Phoenix, Arizona. It is on public land managed by the city of Phoenix as South Mountain Park...

. Current development (as of 2005) is pushing beyond the geographic boundaries to the north and west, and south through Pinal County. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 517.9 square miles (1,341.4 km²); 474.9 square miles (1,230 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km², or 0.05%) of it is water.

The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area
Phoenix Metropolitan Area
The Phoenix metropolitan area, often referred to as The Valley of the Sun, is a metropolitan area, centered on the city of Phoenix, that includes much of the central part of the US state of Arizona...

 (MSA) (officially known as the Phoenix-Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

-Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

 MSA), is the 12th largest in the United States, with a total population of 4,192,887 as of the Census 2010. It includes the Arizona counties of Maricopa
Maricopa County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*73.0% White*5.0% Black*2.1% Native American*3.5% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.5% Two or more races*12.7% Other races*29.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 and Pinal
Pinal County, Arizona
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*72.4% White*4.6% Black*5.6% Native American*1.7% Asian*0.4% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.8% Two or more races*11.5% Other races*28.5% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

. Other cities in the MSA include Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

, Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2010 the population of the city was 217,385...

, Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

, Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

, Chandler
Chandler, Arizona
-Demographics:As of the Census of 2010, there were 236,123 people, 86,924 households, and 60,212 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 73.3% White, 4.8% Black or African American, 1.5% Native American, 8.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 21.9% Hispanic or Latino, and 8.3%...

, Gilbert
Gilbert, Arizona
-Demographics:As of July 1, 2009, Maricopa Association of Governments, Census 2000. United States Census Bureau. there were 217,521 people, 74,147 housing units, and 3.01 persons per household....

, and Peoria
Peoria, Arizona
Peoria is a city in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in the U.S. state of Arizona. Located primarily in Maricopa County, it is a major suburb of Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau releases, the population of the city is 154,065. Peoria is currently the sixth largest city in Arizona for land...

. Several smaller communities are also included, such as Cave Creek
Cave Creek, Arizona
Cave Creek is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona in the United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town was 4,951.-Geography:...

, Queen Creek
Queen Creek, Arizona
Queen Creek is a town in Maricopa and Pinal counties in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 26,361 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Queen Creek is located at ....

, Buckeye
Buckeye, Arizona
Buckeye is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States and is the westernmost suburb in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The population of the town as of Census 2010 was 50,876, a 678% increase from the 2000 population of 6,537.-Geography:...

, Goodyear
Goodyear, Arizona
Goodyear is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 65,275...

, Guadalupe
Guadalupe, Arizona
Guadalupe is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 5,258. The town is nestled between Phoenix and Tempe. Since its founding, it has been known as a center of Yaqui culture and it is home to many religious festivals...

, Fountain Hills, Litchfield Park
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Litchfield Park is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. In 2010 it had a population of 5,476.-History:The town of Litchfield Park is named for its founder, Paul Weeks Litchfield...

, Anthem
Anthem, Arizona
Anthem is an unincorporated community and a census-designated place in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census, Anthem had a population of 21,700 people. The result of a Del Webb development on a large parcel of land adjacent to the town of New River, it is a planned suburb...

,
Sun Lakes
Sun Lakes, Arizona
Sun Lakes is a census-designated place in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The population was 11,936 at the 2000 census. Sun Lakes is an active adult community comprising five active adult country club communities in three homeowner associations...

, Sun City
Sun City, Arizona
Sun City is a census-designated place and unincorporated town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The population was 38,309 at the 2000 census...

, Sun City West
Sun City West, Arizona
Sun City West is a census-designated place in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The population was 26,344 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Sun City West is located at ....

, Avondale
Avondale, Arizona
Avondale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, adjacent to Phoenix, Arizona. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 76,238.Avondale is the home of Phoenix International Raceway, an auto racing facility...

, Surprise
Surprise, Arizona
Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid growth has boosted the city's population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%...

, El Mirage
El Mirage, Arizona
El Mirage is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to Census 2010, the population of the city is 31,767.-Geography:El Mirage is located at ....

, Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Paradise Valley is a small, affluent town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2005 Census Bureau, the population of the town was 14,558. Despite the town's relatively small area and population compared to other municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise...

, and Tolleson
Tolleson, Arizona
Tolleson is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 6,812.-Geography:Tolleson is located at ....

. The communities of Ahwatukee
Ahwatukee
Ahwatukee is an affluent L-shaped neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona bordered on the north by South Mountain Park and Baseline Road, on the east by Interstate 10 and the cities of Chandler, Guadalupe, and Tempe, and on the south and west by the Gila River Indian Community. It is the southernmost of...

, Arcadia, Laveen
Laveen, Arizona
Laveen is a suburban community in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, situated eight miles southwest of Downtown Phoenix near the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers. Parts of Laveen constitute an unincorporated area in Maricopa County, while the remainder falls within the city limits of...

 and some others are part of the city of Phoenix; Ahwatukee being separated from the rest of the city by South Mountain.

The city is the largest city in the Arizona Sun Corridor
Arizona Sun Corridor
The Arizona Sun Corridor, shortened Sun Corridor, is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of Arizona. The Sun Corridor is equivalent to Indiana in size and population; unlike Indiana, it will add another Indiana's worth of residents by 2040...

. The Sun Corridor is the 8th largest megaregion
Megaregions of the United States
A Megaregion, also known as a Megalopolis or Megapolitan Area, refers to a clustered network of American cities whose population ranges or is projected to range from about 7 to 63 million by the year 2025. America 2050, an organization sponsored by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, lists 11...

, in terms of area, in the United States of America and is predicted to be the 10th most populous megaregion in 2025. The Sun Corridor is equivalent to Indiana in size and population and had a GDP of $191 billion in 2005.

Phoenix is the nation's sixth most populous city with approximately 1.44 million people, however, with a huge land area of 475 square miles (1,230.2 km²), the city has a low density rate of about 2,785 people per square mile due to 1/3rd of its land area being undeveloped desert. By comparison, Philadelphia has approximately 1.5 million people in a land area of 127 square miles (328.9 km²), giving it a high density rate of over 11,000 people per square mile.

As with most of Arizona, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time
Daylight saving time
Daylight saving time —also summer time in several countries including in British English and European official terminology —is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less...

. In 1973, Gov. Jack Williams argued to the US Congress that energy use would increase in the evening, as refrigeration units were not used as often in the morning on standard time. He went on to say that energy use would rise "because there would be more lights on in the early morning." He was also concerned about children going to school in the dark, which indeed they were. The exception to this are lands of the Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory covering , occupying all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah, and northwestern New Mexico...

 in Northeastern Arizona, which observe daylight saving time in conjunction with the rest of their tribal lands in other states.

Climate

Phoenix has a subtropical arid climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

: BWh), typical of the Sonoran Desert in which it lies. Phoenix has extremely hot summers and warm winters. The average summer high temperatures are some of the hottest of any major city in the United States, and approach those of cities such as Riyadh
Riyadh
Riyadh is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a...

 and Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. The temperature reaches and exceeds 100°F (38°C), on average for 110 days of the year, including most days from late May through to early September. Highs top 110 °F (43 °C) an average of 18 days during the year. On June 26, 1990, the temperature reached an all-time recorded high of 122 °F (50 °C).

Overnight lows greater than 80 °F (26.7 °C) occur frequently each summer, with the average July low being 81 °F (27.2 °C), and the average August low being 80 °F (26.7 °C). On average, 67 days throughout the year will see the nighttime low at or above 80 °F (26.7 °C). The highest low temperature recorded in Phoenix was 96 °F (35.6 °C), which occurred on July 15, 2003.

Precipitation is sparse during a large part of the summer, but the influx of monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

al moisture, which generally begins in early July and lasts until mid-September, raises humidity levels and can cause heavy localized precipitation and flooding occasionally. Winter months are warm, with daily high temperatures ranging from the mid-60's to low 70's (18–22 °C), and low temperatures rarely dipping below 40 °F (4.4 °C).
Phoenix averages 85% of possible sunshine and receives scant rainfall, the average annual total at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located southeast of the central business district of the city of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States...

 being 8.3 inches (210 mm). March is the wettest month of the year (1.07 inches or 27 mm) with June being the driest (0.09 inches or 2 mm). Although thunderstorms are possible at any time of the year, they are most common during the monsoon from July to mid-September as humid air surges in from the Gulf of California
Gulf of California
The Gulf of California is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland...

. These can bring strong winds, large hail, or rarely, tornadoes. Winter storms moving inland from the Pacific Ocean occasionally produce significant rains but occur infrequently. Fog is rare but can be observed from time to time during the winter months.

On average, Phoenix has only 5 days per year where the temperature drops to or below freezing. The long-term mean date of the first frost is December 15 and the last is February 1; however, these dates do not represent the city as a whole because the frequency of freezes increases the further one moves outward from the urban heat island
Urban heat island
An urban heat island is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon was first investigated and described by Luke Howard in the 1810s, although he was not the one to name the phenomenon. The temperature difference usually is larger at night...

. Frequently, outlying areas of Phoenix see frost, but the airport does not. The earliest frost on record occurred on November 3, 1946, and the latest occurred on April 4, 1945. The all-time lowest recorded temperature in Phoenix was 16 °F (-9 °C) on January 7, 1913.

Snow is extremely rare in the area but is possible. Snowfall was first officially recorded in 1896, and since then, accumulations of 0.1 inch (0.254 cm) or greater have occurred only seven times. The heaviest snowstorm on record dates to January 20, 1937 – January 21, 1937, when 1 to 4 in (2.5 to 10.2 cm) fell in parts of the city and did not melt entirely for four days. Before that, 1 inches (2.5 cm) had fallen on January 20, 1933. On February 2, 1939, 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) fell. Most recently, 0.4 inches (1 cm) fell on December 21, 1990 – December 22, 1990 (but not in the city). Snow also fell on March 12, 1917, on November 28, 1919, and on December 11, 1985 (at the airport). On December 30, 2010, graupel fell, although it was widely believed to be snow. Not a single snowflake has hit downtown Phoenix since 1939.

Dust storms form mostly during the summer. Three major ones occurred in the summer of 2011. These dust storms form from monsoon storm "outflows", or sudden gusts of wind.

Cityscape

Since 1986, the city of Phoenix has been divided into urban village
Urban village
An urban village is an urban planning and urban design concept. It refers to an urban form typically characterized by:* Medium density development* Mixed use zoning* The provision of good public transit...

s, many of which are based upon historically significant neighborhoods and communities that have since been annexed into Phoenix. Each village has a planning committee that is appointed directly by the city council. According to the village planning handbook issued by the city, the purpose of the village planning committees is to work with the city's planning commission to ensure a balance of housing and employment in each village, concentrate development at identified village cores, and to promote the unique character and identity of the villages.

Currently, there are 15 urban villages in the city: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra
Alhambra, Phoenix, Arizona
Alhambra is one of the fifteen urban villages of Phoenix, Arizona. Located only a couple miles from downtown, Alhambra is an example of older suburban development in Phoenix. The boundaries of the village are marked on the west by 43rd Avenue/City of Glendale, 7th Street on the east, Northern...

, Camelback East
Camelback East, Phoenix, Arizona
The Camelback East Village, also sometimes referred to as East Phoenix or the East Side, is one of the 15 villages that make up Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is adjacent to the suburbs Paradise Valley and Scottsdale and sits between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. There are two main...

, Central City
Central City, Phoenix, Arizona
Central City Village is the urban village of Phoenix, Arizona, that comprises the downtown area of the city. Because of its location at the historic center of Phoenix, there are many old homes and buildings located in this village that convey the history of the area...

, Deer Valley, Desert View, Encanto
Encanto, Phoenix, Arizona
The Encanto Village is one of the 15 villages that make up Phoenix, Arizona. It is located in Central Phoenix. The western border of the village is the I-17 Black Canyon Freeway, and the southern border is McDowell Road. The Grand Canal makes up the northern and eastern border.The core of the...

, Estrella, Laveen
Laveen, Arizona
Laveen is a suburban community in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, situated eight miles southwest of Downtown Phoenix near the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers. Parts of Laveen constitute an unincorporated area in Maricopa County, while the remainder falls within the city limits of...

, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley (not to be confused with the town of Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Paradise Valley is a small, affluent town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2005 Census Bureau, the population of the town was 14,558. Despite the town's relatively small area and population compared to other municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise...

), South Mountain and Rio Vista
Rio Vista, Phoenix, Arizona
Rio Vista Village is the newest of the fifteen urban villages of Phoenix, Arizona, located far to the north of the rest of the city. This village consists primarily of largely undeveloped land recently annexed into Phoenix, located close to the unincorporated master-planned community of Anthem...

. Rio Vista
Rio Vista, Phoenix, Arizona
Rio Vista Village is the newest of the fifteen urban villages of Phoenix, Arizona, located far to the north of the rest of the city. This village consists primarily of largely undeveloped land recently annexed into Phoenix, located close to the unincorporated master-planned community of Anthem...

 was created as New Village in 2004 and is currently very sparsely populated, with no large amount of
development expected in the near future.

Commonly referred-to Phoenix regions and districts include Downtown
Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix is the central business district of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located near the geographic center of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics,...

, Midtown, West Phoenix
West Phoenix
West Phoenix is a neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Maryvale isthe predominant neighborhood of the near west side, from about 35th Avenue west to 83rd Avenue and from I-10 north to the boundary with the suburb of Glendale at Camelback Road. First developed in the 1950s and 1960s by...

, North Phoenix
North/Northwest Phoenix
North/Northwest Phoenix is a region in Phoenix, Arizona. While the area with this name has no official separate status, it usually refers to the Urban Villages of Paradise Valley , North Mountain, Deer Valley, Desert View, and Happy Valley.-History:Camelback Mountain and the Phoenix Mountains...

, South Phoenix
South Phoenix
South Phoenix, also known as the South Mountain Village, South Mountain District or SoMo, is a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. It has the boundaries of 27th Avenue to the west, 48th Sreet to the east, the Salt River to the north and South Mountain Park to the south...

, Biltmore Area, Arcadia
Arcadia, Phoenix, Arizona
Arcadia is a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. It is bounded roughly by 44th Street to 68th Street and from Camelback Road to the Arizona Crosscut Canal. Arcadia contains well-kept homes on large lots; these homes command relatively high property values...

, Sunnyslope, Ahwatukee.

Demographics

Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the nation according to the 2010 United States Census, making it the most populous state capital in the United States, with a population of 1,445,632. According to the Census:
  • White
    White people
    White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

    : 76.7% (46.5% non-Hispanic)
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 40.8% (35.9% Mexican, 0.6% Puerto Rican 0.5% Guatemalan, 0.3% Salvadoran, 0.3% Cuban)
  • Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 6.5% (6.0% non-Hispanic)
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 3.0% (0.8% Indian, 0.5% Filipino, 0.5% Chinese, 0.4% Vietnamese, 0.2% Korean, 0.1% Japanese, 0.1% Burmese)
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 1.7%
  • Native American
    Indigenous peoples of the Americas
    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

    : 1.6%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.1%
  • Some other race: 0.2%


Ancestry and language

According to the survey, the top ten ancestries were Mexican
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

 (38.4%), German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (12.8%), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (8.8%), English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 (7.1%), African American (6.0%), Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 (4.0%), American
American ethnicity
American ethnicity differs from United States nationality. An individual's nationality is American if he or she is a national of the United States of America. The circumstances under which a person is ethnically American are less clear....

 (3.5%), Polish
Polish American
A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

 (2.2%), French
French American
French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

 (1.4%), and Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 (1.6%).

According to the survey, the linguistic abilities of Phoenix residents were as follows:
  • Population 5 years and over: 1,335,333
    • English only: 68.8%
    • Language other than English: 32.2%
    • Spanish: 27.6%
      • Speak English less than "very well": 14.1%
    • Other Indo-European languages
      Indo-European languages
      The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

      : 0.7%
      • Speak English less than "very well": 0.2%
    • Asian languages
      Languages of Asia
      There is a wide variety of languages spoken throughout Asia, comprising a number of families and some unrelated isolates. Many languages have a long tradition of writing.-Central and North Asian languages:*Turkic**Azeri**Kazak**Kyrgyz**Tatar**Turkish...

       and Pacific Islander languages: 1.5%
      • Speak English less than "very well": 0.8%
    • Other languages: 1.4%
      • Speak English less than "very well": 0.4%

2000 census

According to the 2000 census, there were 1,321,045 people, 865,834 households, and 407,450 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,782 people per square mile (1,074/km²). There were 895,832 housing units at an average density of 1,044 per square mile (403/km²).

There were 865,834 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-traditional families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.39.

In the city the population age distribution was 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,207, and the median income for a family was $46,467. Males had a median income of $32,820 versus $27,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,833. 15.8% of the population and 11.5% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.0% of those under the age of 18 and 10.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

As of 2000, the racial makeup of the Phoenix population was 71.1% White, 5.1% African American, 2.0% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.4% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.1% of the population. Since the 2000 census, the non-Hispanic white population in Phoenix dropped below 50.0%, according to William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

.

In 2000, the Phoenix metro area's religious composition was reported as 45% Catholic, 13% LDS (concentrated heavily in the suburb of Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

) and 5% Jewish. The remaining 37% are largely members of Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 denominations or are unaffiliated.

Economy

The early economy of Phoenix was primarily agricultural, dependent mainly on the "5Cs" which were copper, cattle, climate, cotton and citrus. In the last four decades most of the farmlands have been turned into suburbs, and the economy has diversified as swiftly as the population has grown. The construction boom collapsed in 2008, as the financial crisis of 2007–2010 began; housing prices plunged. As Phoenix is the state capital, many residents in the area are employed by the government. Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

 has also enhanced the area's population through education and its growing research capabilities. Numerous high-tech and telecommunications companies have also recently relocated to the area. Due to the warm climate in winter, Phoenix benefits greatly from seasonal tourism and recreation, such as the golf industry.

Phoenix is currently home to seven Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies: Allied Waste
Allied Waste Industries
Allied Waste Industries was a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. A vertically integrated company that owned and operated solid waste collection businesses, recycling facilities, and landfills, it was a leader in the solid waste industry in the United States...

, electronics corporation Avnet
Avnet
Avnet, Inc. is a technology Business-to-business B2B distributor headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Electronics Supply & Manufacturing magazine reports that Avnet Inc., a Fortune 500 company, may be the world's largest franchised distributor of electronic components and subsystems...

, Apollo Group
Apollo Group
Apollo Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 corporation based in the South Phoenix area of Phoenix, Arizona. Apollo Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns several for-profit educational institutions....

 (which operates the University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded , an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona...

), mining company Freeport-McMoRan
Freeport-McMoRan
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., often called simply Freeport, is the world's lowest-cost copper producer and one of the world's largest producers of gold...

 (recently merged with Phoenix based Phelps Dodge
Phelps Dodge
Phelps Dodge Corporation was an American mining company founded in 1834 by Anson Greene Phelps and William Earle Dodge, Sr.. On March 19, 2007, it was acquired by Freeport-McMoRan and now operates under the name Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.-History:...

), retailer PetSmart
PetSmart
PetSmart, Inc. is a retail chain doing business in the United States and Canada engaged in the sale of specialty pet supplies and services such as grooming and dog training, PetSmart PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities and Doggie Day Care.- History :...

 and energy supplier Pinnacle West. Honeywell
Honeywell
Honeywell International, Inc. is a major conglomerate company that produces a variety of consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments....

's Aerospace division is headquartered in Phoenix, and the valley hosts many of their avionics and mechanical facilities. Intel has one of their largest sites here, employing about 10,000 employees and 7 chip manufacturing fabs, including the $3 billion state-of-the-art 300 mm and 45 nm Fab 32. American Express
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

 hosts their financial transactions, customer information, and their entire website in Phoenix. The city is also home to the headquarters of U-HAUL
U-Haul
U-Haul International, Inc. is an American equipment rental company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, that has been in operation since 1945. The company was founded by Leonard Shoen U-Haul International, Inc. is an American equipment rental company, based in Phoenix, Arizona, that has been in operation...

 International, a rental and moving supply company, as well as Best Western
Best Western
Best Western International, Inc. is the third largest hotel chain, with over 4,195 hotels in nearly 80 countries. The chain, with its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, operates more than 2,000 hotels in North America alone. Best Western has a marketing program involving placement of free...

, the world's largest family of hotels. Mesa Air Group
Mesa Air Group
Mesa Air Group, Inc. is a Nevada Corporation commercial aviation holding company with headquarters in Suite 100 at 410 North 44th Street in the Camelback East area of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The company operates one regional airline subsidiary: Mesa Airlines, and five supporting...

, a regional airline group, is headquartered in Phoenix.

Despite the housing collapse, Phoenix is seeing an improvement in its rental housing. “Commercial-property owners are counting on apartment buildings to lead the Phoenix area's real-estate market toward recovery, based on a recent rebound for units rented and buildings sold.”
The military has a significant presence in Phoenix with Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located seven miles west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is also about west of Phoenix, Arizona....

 located in the western suburbs. At its height, in the 1940s, the Phoenix area had three military bases: Luke Field (still in use), Falcon Field
Falcon Field (Arizona)
Falcon Field is a public airport located five miles northeast of the central business district of Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007–2011, it is categorized as a reliever airport.Although most U.S...

, and Williams Air Force Base
Williams Air Force Base
Williams Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base, located in Mesa, and about southeast of Phoenix, Arizona.It was active as a training base for both the United States Army Air Forces, as well as the USAF from 1941 until its closure in 1993...

 (now Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport , formerly Williams Gateway Airport and Williams Air Force Base , is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of the city of Mesa, Arizona, and southeast of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The airport is owned and operated by the...

), with numerous auxiliary air fields located throughout the region.

Foreign governments have established 30 consular offices and eleven active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations in metropolitan Phoenix

Culture

Phoenix and the surrounding area have several cultural activities, including the performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

, museums, and events.

Performing arts

Several music venues take place around Arizona, but primarily in and around downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix is the central business district of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located near the geographic center of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics,...

 and in Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2010 the population of the city was 217,385...

. One such venue is the Phoenix Symphony Hall, where performances from groups such as the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera
Arizona Opera
Arizona Opera is an opera company which operates in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona.Arizona Opera was established in 1971 as the Tucson Opera Company, under founding general director James P. Sullivan, and presented its first production, of Rossini's The Barber of Seville, in 1972. By 1976 the...

 and Ballet Arizona
Ballet Arizona
Ballet Arizona is a professional ballet company in Phoenix, Arizona directed by Ib Andersen. The company was created in 1986 by a merger of three smaller Arizonan dance companies that were struggling to survive...

 often occur. Another venue is the Orpheum Theatre
Orpheum Theatre (Phoenix)
The Orpheum Theatre is a small theatre in downtown Phoenix. This venue was originally used for vaudeville acts as part of the nationwide Orpheum Circuit.-History:...

 which is home to the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera
Phoenix Metropolitan Opera
The Phoenix Opera is a professional opera company located in Phoenix, Arizona and is an affiliate member of OPERA America. The company was founded under the name the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera in 2006 by Artistic Director John Massaro and Creative Director Gail Dubinbaum...

. Concerts also regularly make stops in the area. Venues for concerts include the US Airways Center
US Airways Center
US Airways Center is a sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena...

 and the Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix is the central business district of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located near the geographic center of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics,...

, Cricket Wireless Pavilion in Maryvale, Jobing.com Arena in Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

, and Gammage Auditorium
Gammage Auditorium
Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium is considered to be the last public commission of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Groundbreaking took place and construction on the building began on May 23, 1962. It took 25 months to complete. The built-on-time, under-budget building opened in 1964 with the...

 in Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

. Since 2002, Phoenix has also seen a rapid growth in local arts through Artlink Phoenix. Several smaller theatres including Trunk Space
Trunk Space
The Trunk Space is an all-ages music venue, art gallery, and performance space in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, USA. It is located on Grand Avenue, between 19th Avenue and 15th Avenue....

, Space 55 and Modified Arts
Modified Arts
Modified Arts is run by husband and wife team Kim Larkin , and Adam Murray . The duo succeeded Kimber Lanning, who opened Modified Arts in 1999 and developed it into a respected gallery and prominently recognized venue for live music and performance. Kim and Adam continue to present high quality...

 support regular independent musical and theatre performances.

Phoenix has been home to numerous popular musicians, mostly of the country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 and rock
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 genres. Solo artists originally from the area include Duane Eddy
Duane Eddy
Duane Eddy is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he had a string of hit records, produced by Lee Hazlewood, which were noted for their characteristically "twangy" sound, including "Rebel Rouser", "Peter Gunn", and "Because They're Young"...

, Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks
Stephanie Lynn "Stevie" Nicks is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her work with Fleetwood Mac and an extensive solo career, which collectively have produced over forty Top 50 hits and sold over 140 million albums...

, Willy Northpole
Willy Northpole
William Adams, professionally known as Willy Northpole, is an American rapper/Southwest Hip Hop artist who is signed to Disturbing Tha Peace Records. He released his first album, Tha Connect in June 2009. He is from Phoenix, Arizona.-Biography:...

, Buck Owens
Buck Owens
Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. , better known as Buck Owens, was an American singer and guitarist who had 21 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country music charts with his band, the Buckaroos...

, Wayne Newton
Wayne Newton
Wayne Newton is an American singer and entertainer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He performed over 30,000 solo shows in Las Vegas over a period of over 40 years, earning him the nicknames The Midnight Idol, Mr. Las Vegas and Mr. Entertainment...

, Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks
Jordin Brianna Sparks is an American pop / R&B singer-songwriter and actress. She hails from Glendale, Arizona who rose to fame as the winner of the sixth season of American Idol. Sparks won when she was 17 years old, making her the youngest winner in Idol history...

, Marty Robbins
Marty Robbins
Martin David Robinson , known professionally as Marty Robbins, was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist...

, CeCe Peniston
CeCe Peniston
CeCe Peniston is an African American recording artist and former beauty queen. At the beginning of the nineties, she was considered to be one of the most successful dance club artists in the history of the U.S...

, Dierks Bentley
Dierks Bentley
Dierks Bentley is an American country music artist who has been signed to Capitol Records Nashville since 2003. That year, he released his self-titled debut album. Both it and its follow-up, 2005's Modern Day Drifter, are certified platinum in the United States. A third album, 2006's Long Trip...

, Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

, and Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

's Chester Bennington
Chester Bennington
Chester Charles Bennington is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. He is best known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Linkin Park....

. Several prominent rock groups have come from the Valley, including Meat Puppets
Meat Puppets
The Meat Puppets are an American rock band formed in January 1980, in Phoenix, Arizona. The group's original lineup was Curt Kirkwood , his brother Cris Kirkwood , and Derrick Bostrom . The Kirkwood brothers met Bostrom while attending Brophy Prep High School in Phoenix...

, The Refreshments, Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World is an American alternative rock band from Mesa, Arizona, that formed in 1993. The band is composed of lead vocalist and guitarist Jim Adkins, guitarist and backing vocalist Tom Linton, bassist Rick Burch and drummer Zach Lind....

, Mr. Mister
Mr. Mister
Mr. Mister is an American pop rock band most popular in the 1980s. The band's name came from an inside joke about a Weather Report album called Mr. Gone where they referred to each other as "Mister This" or "Mister That", and eventually selected "Mr. Mister." Mr. Mister may be considered as...

, Gin Blossoms
Gin Blossoms
Gin Blossoms is an American pop rock band formed in 1987, in Tempe, Arizona. They took their name from a photo of W.C. Fields which bore the caption "W.C. Fields with gin blossoms", referring to what appeared to be the actor's gin-ravaged nose, but was actually a skin condition known as rosacea...

, Several Members of the Coasters and The Tubes
The Tubes
The Tubes are a San Francisco-based rock band, whose 1975 debut album included the hit single, "White Punks on Dope". During its first fifteen years or so, the band's live performances combined quasi-pornography with wild satires of media, consumerism, and politics...

. Phoenix is becoming a musical hot spot as more established artists like George Benson
George Benson
George Benson is a ten Grammy Award winning American musician, whose production career began at the age of twenty-one as a jazz guitarist....

, Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd is an American session and studio drummer, notable for his work with popular musicians from a wide range of genres.-Biography:...

, Bob Hoag
Bob Hoag
Bob Hoag is a record producer, songwriter and musician based in Mesa, Arizona. In 2005, he was recruited to be the pianist and keyboardist for American rock band The Ataris.-Career:...

, Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco
Joey DeFrancesco is an American jazz organist, trumpeter, and vocalist. Down Beat's Critics and Readers Poll selected him as the top jazz organist every year since 2003.DeFrancesco was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania...

, Samuel David Moore have moved to the city, drawn by the lower cost of living and comfortable climate.

Several television series were set in Phoenix, including the current top-rated Medium
Medium (TV series)
Medium is an American television drama series that premiered on NBC on January 3, 2005, and ended on CBS on January 21, 2011. Themed on supernatural gifts, its lead character, Allison DuBois , is a medium employed as a consultant for the Phoenix, Arizona district attorney's office...

, the 1960–1961 syndicated
Television syndication
In broadcasting, syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast radio shows and television shows by multiple radio stations and television stations, without going through a broadcast network, though the process of syndication may conjure up structures like those of a network itself, by its very...

 crime drama, The Brothers Brannagan
The Brothers Brannagan
The Brothers Brannagan is an American crime drama television series that aired in syndication from September 24, 1960, and July 15, 1961.-Synopsis:...

, Alice
Alice (TV series)
Alice is an American sitcom television series that ran from August 31, 1976 to July 2, 1985 on CBS. The series was based on the 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The show stars Linda Lavin in the title role, a widow who moves with her young son to start her life over again, and finds a job...

 and the CBS sitcom, The New Dick Van Dyke Show
The New Dick Van Dyke Show
The New Dick Van Dyke Show is an American sitcom starring Dick Van Dyke that aired on CBS from 1971 to 1974. This was Van Dyke's first return to series television since The Dick Van Dyke Show.-Production:...

from 1971 to 1974.

Museums

Several museums exist throughout the Valley.

Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix art museum
The Phoenix Art Museum is the Southwest United States' largest art museum for visual art. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the museum is . It displays international exhibitions alongside its comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western...

 is the Southwest’s largest destination for visual art from across the world. Located at 1625 North Central Avenue, the 285000 square feet (26,477.4 m²) art museum stands at the intersection of Central Avenue and McDowell Road on the historic Central Avenue corridor. Phoenix Art Museum displays international exhibitions along side the Museum’s comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. A community center since 1951, Phoenix Art Museum presents a year-round program of festivals, live performances, independent art films and educational programs. Visitors can also experience PhxArtKids, an interactive space for children; photography exhibitions through the Museum’s partnership with the Center for Creative Photography
Center for Creative Photography
The Center for Creative Photography , established in 1975 and located on the University of Arizona campus, is a research facility and archival repository containing the full archives of over sixty of the most famous American photographers including those of Edward Weston, Harry Callahan and Garry...

; the landscaped Sculpture Garden; dining at Arcadia Farms at Phoenix Art Museum; and shopping at The Museum Store.

Another prominent area museum is the Heard Museum
Heard Museum
The Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art is a museum located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. There is also the Heard Museum North Scottsdale branch in Scottsdale and the Heard Museum West branch in Surprise....

 just north of downtown
Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix is the central business district of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located near the geographic center of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics,...

. It has over 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²) of gallery, classroom and performance space. Some of the signature exhibits include a full Navajo
Navajo people
The Navajo of the Southwestern United States are the largest single federally recognized tribe of the United States of America. The Navajo Nation has 300,048 enrolled tribal members. The Navajo Nation constitutes an independent governmental body which manages the Navajo Indian reservation in the...

 hogan
Hogan
A hogan is the primary traditional home of the Navajo people. Other traditional structures include the summer shelter, the underground home, and the sweat house...

, the Mareen Allen Nichols Collection containing 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 Collection of 437 historic Hopi
Hopi
The Hopi are a federally recognized tribe of indigenous Native American people, who primarily live on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. The Hopi area according to the 2000 census has a population of 6,946 people. Their Hopi language is one of the 30 of the Uto-Aztecan language...

 kachina
Kachina
A kachina is a spirit being in western Pueblo cosmology and religious practices. The western Pueblo, Native American cultures located in the southwestern United States, include Hopi, Zuni, Tewa Village , Acoma Pueblo, and Laguna Pueblo. The kachina cult has spread to more eastern Pueblos, e.g....

 dolls, and an exhibit on the 19th century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. The Heard Museum attracts about 250,000 visitors a year.

Other notable museums in the city include the Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center is focused on inspiring, educating, and entertaining people about science. The Center is located in Heritage and Science Park in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Home to over 350 permanent hands-on exhibits, the Center is able to provide their 400,000 annual visitors with...

, Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum, Phoenix Museum of History, the Phoenix Zoo
Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest non-profit zoo in the United States. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the zoo was founded by Robert Maytag, a member of the Maytag family, and operates on of land in the Papago Park area of Phoenix. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of...

, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park
Pueblo Grande Ruin and Irrigation Sites
Pueblo Grande Ruin and Irrigation Sites is a site in Arizona that is significant for its association with Native American history. It is believed that this area was settled around 450 AD...

, and the Children's Museum of Phoenix. In 2010 the Musical Instrument Museum
Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix)
The Musical Instrument Museum is a music museum in Phoenix, Arizona. It is the biggest museum in the world of its type. It has a collection of over 15,000 musical instruments. It includes instruments from nearly 200 countries and territories in the world...

 opened their doors, featuring the biggest musical instrument collection in the world.

Fine arts

The downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix
Downtown Phoenix is the central business district of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located near the geographic center of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics,...

 art scene has developed in the past decade. The Artlink organization and the galleries downtown have successfully launched a First Friday cross-Phoenix gallery opening.

In April 2009, artist Janet Echelman
Janet Echelman
Janet Echelman is an American artist specializing in public art installations and sculpture. She graduated from Harvard University in 1987 with Highest Honors in Visual Studies. From 1988-1993 Echelman lived and worked in Bali, Indonesia before returning to America. She created her first permanent...

 inaugurated her monumental sculpture, Her Secret Is Patience
Her Secret Is Patience
Her Secret Is Patience is a public art sculpture commission designed by artist Janet Echelman for the city of Phoenix. Its creation was the result of collaboration between the artist and a team of award-winning engineers, architects, planners, and fabricators...

, a civic icon suspended above the new Phoenix Civic Space Park
Phoenix Civic Space Park
Civic Space Park is an urban park in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona which first opened to the public in April 2009. It is located directly from the main part of the ASU Downtown Campus...

, a two-city-block park in the middle of downtown. This netted sculpture makes the invisible patterns of desert wind visible to the human eye. During the day, the 100 feet (30.5 m)-tall sculpture hovers high above heads, treetops, and buildings, the sculpture creates what the artist calls "shadow drawings", which she says are inspired by Phoenix's cloud shadows. At night, the illumination changes color gradually through the seasons. The large three-dimensional multi-layered form is created by a combination of hand-baiting and machine-loomed knotting, and is the result of a collaborative effort with an international team of award-winning engineers.

Author Prof. Patrick Frank writes of the sculpture that "...most Arizonans look on the work with pride: this unique visual delight will forever mark the city of Phoenix just as the Eiffel Tower marks Paris."

The Arizona Republic editorialized: "This is just what Phoenix need: a distinctive feature that helps create a real sense of place."

Cuisine

Phoenix has long been renowned for authentic Mexican food
Mexican cuisine
Mexican cuisine, a style of food that originates in Mexico, is known for its varied flavors, colourful decoration and variety of spices and ingredients, most of which are native to the country. The cuisine of Mexico has evolved through thousands of years of blending indigenous cultures, with later...

, thanks to both the large Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 population and proximity to Mexico. But the recent population boom has brought people from all over the nation, and to a lesser extent from other countries, and has since influenced the local cuisine. International food, such as Korean, Brazilian
Cuisine of Brazil
Brazilian cuisine, like Brazil itself, varies greatly by region. The natural crops available in each region add to their singularity.Brazilian cooking, while it has many similarities with that of its South American neighbors, is distinct...

, and French
French cuisine
French cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from France that has developed from centuries of social change. In the Middle Ages, Guillaume Tirel , a court chef, authored Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of Medieval France...

, has become more common throughout the valley in recent years. However, Mexican food is arguably still the most popular food, with Mexican restaurants found all over the area.

Sports

Phoenix is home to several professional sports franchises, including representatives of all four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. – although only two of these teams actually carry the city name and play within the city limits. Of all the U.S. metropolitan areas with teams in all four leagues, Phoenix was the last to get its first major franchise, this being the Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

 of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA), which started play in 1968 at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
The Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum is a 14,870-seat multi-purpose indoor arena in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, located on the grounds of the Arizona State Fair...

. In 1992 the Suns moved to the America West Arena, which is now the US Airways Center
US Airways Center
US Airways Center is a sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena...

. In 1997, the Phoenix Mercury
Phoenix Mercury
The Phoenix Mercury is a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded before the league's inaugural 1997 season began; it is one of the eight original franchises...

 was one of the original eight teams to launch the Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

 (WNBA). Both teams play at U.S. Airways Center. The U.S. Airways Center was the setting for both the 1995
1995 NBA All-Star Game
The 1995 NBA All-Star Game was the 45th edition of the All-Star Game. The Western Conference won 139-112. The city of Phoenix hosted the event. Mitch Richmond of the Sacramento Kings was voted MVP of the game.-Eastern Conference:-Western Conference:...

 and the 2009 NBA All-Star Game
2009 NBA All-Star Game
The 2009 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game played on February 15, 2009 at US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, home of the Phoenix Suns. The game was the 58th edition of the National Basketball Association All-Star Game and was played during the 2008–09 NBA season...

s. The Phoenix Flame of the International Basketball League
International Basketball League
The International Basketball League was a short lived professional basketball league in the United States. The IBL was headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The league started in 1999 and ended in 2001.-History:...

 began play in the spring of 2007. They play at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
The Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum is a 14,870-seat multi-purpose indoor arena in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, located on the grounds of the Arizona State Fair...

.

The Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 moved to Phoenix from St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 in 1988 and currently play in the Western Division
NFC West
The NFC West is a division of the National Football League's National Football Conference. It currently has four members: Arizona Cardinals, St...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

's National Football Conference
National Football Conference
The National Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League . This conference and its counterpart, the American Football Conference , currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL.-Current teams:Since 2002, the NFC has comprised 16 teams,...

. The team, however, has never played in the city itself; they played at Sun Devil Stadium
Sun Devil Stadium
Sun Devil Stadium is an outdoor football stadium, located on the campus of Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona, United States. The stadium's current seating capacity is 71,706 and the playing surface is natural grass...

 on the campus of Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

 in nearby Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

 until 2006. Sun Devil Stadium held Super Bowl XXX
Super Bowl XXX
Super Bowl XXX was an American football game played on January 28, 1996 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona to decide the National Football League champion following the 1995 regular season...

 in 1996 when the Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League . They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas...

 defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

. The Cardinals now play at University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium, opened August 1, 2006, is a multipurpose football stadium located in Glendale, Arizona. It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League and the annual Fiesta Bowl...

 in west suburban Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

. University of Phoenix Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLII
Super Bowl XLII
Super Bowl XLII was an American football game on February 3, 2008 that featured the National Football Conference champion New York Giants and the American Football Conference champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League champion for the 2007 season...

 on February 3, 2008, in which the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 defeated the New England Patriots
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National...

. It is also the home of the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Fiesta Bowl
The Fiesta Bowl, now sponsored by Frito-Lay and named with their Tostitos brand, is a United States college football bowl game played annually at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Between its origination in 1971 and 2006, the game was hosted in Tempe, Arizona at Sun Devil...

, a college football bowl game that is part of the Bowl Championship Series
Bowl Championship Series
The Bowl Championship Series is a selection system that creates five bowl match-ups involving ten of the top ranked teams in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision , including an opportunity for the top two to compete in the BCS National Championship Game.The BCS relies on a combination of...

 (BCS).

Phoenix has an arena football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

 team, the Arizona Rattlers
Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers are a professional arena football team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Conference in the Arena Football League . The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team. They play their home games at US Airways Center...

 of the Arena Football League. Games are played at US Airways Center
US Airways Center
US Airways Center is a sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena...

 downtown.

The Phoenix Coyotes
Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They play their home games at Jobing.com Arena....

 of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 moved to the area in 1996; they were formerly the Winnipeg Jets franchise. They play at Jobing.com Arena, adjacent to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

The Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field...

 of Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 West Division
National League West
The National League Western Division, or NL West, is one of the three divisions of Major League Baseball's National League. It was created in 1969 when the previously undivided National League expanded its membership to twelve teams, positioning half of them in an Eastern division and the other...

) began play as an expansion team in 1998. The team plays at Chase Field
Chase Field
Chase Field is a baseball stadium located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona and is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. It opened in , just in time for the Diamondbacks' first game as an expansion team...

 (downtown). In 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series, becoming not only the city's first professional sports franchise to win a national championship while located in Arizona, but also one of the youngest expansion franchise in U.S. professional sports to ever win a championship.

Additionally, due to the favorable climate, fifteen Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 teams conduct spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 in the metro Phoenix area in what is known as The Cactus League. The Cincinnati Reds were the last team to begin play in Goodyear, AZ as the 15th Cactus League team and share the stadium in Goodyear with the Cleveland Indians. Beginning in 2011, the Cactus League will be based solely in greater metro Phoenix as the last two teams that had played in Tucson (The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks) will be sharing a spring training home near Scottsdale.

The Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix International Raceway
Phoenix International Raceway, also known as PIR, is a one-mile, low-banked tri-oval race track located in Avondale, Arizona. The track opened in 1964 and currently hosts two NASCAR race weekends annually. PIR has also hosted the Indycar Series, CART, USAC and the Rolex Sports Car Series...

 is a major venue for two NASCAR
NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr...

 auto racing events per season. Boat racing
Drag boat racing
As the name suggests, drag boat racing is a form of drag racing which takes place on water rather than land. As with land based drag racing, a pair of competitors race their vehicles for the lowest elapsed time over a straight race course of a defined length...

, drag racing
Drag racing
Drag racing is a competition in which specially prepared automobiles or motorcycles compete two at a time to be the first to cross a set finish line, from a standing start, in a straight line, over a measured distance, most commonly a ¼-mile straight track....

, and road course racing are also held at Firebird International Raceway. Sprint car racing
Sprint car racing
Sprint cars are high-powered race cars designed primarily for the purpose of running on short oval or circular dirt or paved tracks. Sprint car racing is popular in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa....

 is no longer held at Manzanita Speedway
Manzanita Speedway
The Manzanita Speedway was a dirt track racing facility located in the suburban southwestern part of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The facility had a 1/3 mile and 1/2 mile tracks. The track held USAC events up through the 2009 Sprint Car season opener...

.

Phoenix hosted the United States Grand Prix
United States Grand Prix
The United States Grand Prix is a motor race which has been run on and off since 1908, when it was known as the American Grand Prize. The race later became part of the Formula One World Championship. Over 41 editions, the race has been held at nine locations, most recently in 2007 at the...

 from 1989 to 1991. The race was discontinued after poor crowd numbers.

Phoenix has also hosted the Insight Bowl
Insight Bowl
The Insight Bowl is an NCAA college football bowl game played in Arizona since 1989. From 1989 to 1999, the games were played at Arizona Stadium in Tucson. The game moved to Phoenix in 2000 and was played at Chase Field until 2005. After the 2005 playing the Insight Bowl moved to Sun Devil Stadium...

 at Chase Field
Chase Field
Chase Field is a baseball stadium located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona and is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. It opened in , just in time for the Diamondbacks' first game as an expansion team...

 until 2005, after which it moved to nearby Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

, as well as several major professional golf events, including the LPGA
LPGA
The LPGA, in full the Ladies Professional Golf Association, is an American organization for female professional golfers. The organization, whose headquarters is in Daytona Beach, Florida, is best known for running the LPGA Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments for elite female golfers from...

's Safeway International
Safeway International
The J Golf Phoenix LPGA International, in full the J Golf Phoenix LPGA International Presented by Mirassou Winery, was an annual golf tournament for professional female golfers on the LPGA Tour...

 and The Tradition
The Tradition
The Tradition is one of the five major championships recognized by the U.S.-based Champions Tour, the world's leading tour for professional golfers aged fifty and older. The inaugural event was staged in 1989.Unlike the U.S...

 of the Champions Tour
Champions Tour
The Champions Tour, a golf tour run by the PGA Tour, hosts a series of events annually in the United States and the United Kingdom for golfers 50 years of age and older. Many of the PGA Tour's most successful golfers have gone on to play on the Champions Tour.The Senior PGA Championship, founded in...

. Phoenix was originally scheduled to host the 2006 NHL
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 All-Star Game, but it was canceled due to the 2006 Winter Olympics
2006 Winter Olympics
The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Turin, Italy from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. This marked the second time Italy hosted the Olympic Winter Games, the first being the VII Olympic Winter...

 (the recently adopted NHL collective bargaining agreement prohibits the All-Star Game to be held during Olympic years).

Phoenix has been named as a team in the WAMNRL which will begin in summer 2011.

Phoenix's Ahwatukee American Little League reached the 2006 Little League
Little League
Little League Baseball and Softball is a non-profit organization in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States which organizes local youth baseball and softball leagues throughout the U.S...

 World Series
Little League World Series
The Little League Baseball World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old. It was originally called the National Little League Tournament and was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. It was first held in 1947 and is held every August in South...

 as the representative from the U.S. West region. Phoenix is one of the three cities that hosts the annual Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon
The Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon is a marathon and half-marathon race, held annually in Arizona on the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and linking three cities of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area: . Like the original Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in San Diego, it is organised by Competitor Group,...

 in January.On March 28, 2010 The University of Phoenix stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium, opened August 1, 2006, is a multipurpose football stadium located in Glendale, Arizona. It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League and the annual Fiesta Bowl...

 hosted WWE's annual extravaganza WrestleMania XXVI
WrestleMania XXVI
WrestleMania XXVI was the twenty-sixth annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment , which took place on March 28, 2010 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona. This was the fourth WrestleMania to...

 which had broke the stadium's attendance record with 72,219 fans which have been broken by the 2011 BCS National Championship Game
2011 BCS National Championship Game
The 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game was the final college football game to determine the national champion of the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision season. The finale of the 2010-2011 Bowl Championship Series was played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the host...

 with 78,603 fans.
Club Sport League Venue Championships
Arizona Rattlers
Arizona Rattlers
The Arizona Rattlers are a professional arena football team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Conference in the Arena Football League . The Rattlers were founded in 1992 as an expansion team. They play their home games at US Airways Center...

Arena Football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

Arena Football League US Airways Center
US Airways Center
US Airways Center is a sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena...

2
Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

Football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 – NFC
National Football Conference
The National Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League . This conference and its counterpart, the American Football Conference , currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL.-Current teams:Since 2002, the NFC has comprised 16 teams,...

University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium
University of Phoenix Stadium, opened August 1, 2006, is a multipurpose football stadium located in Glendale, Arizona. It is the home of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League and the annual Fiesta Bowl...

2*
Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a professional baseball team based in Phoenix. They play in the West Division of Major League Baseball's National League. From 1998 to the present, they have played in Chase Field...

Baseball Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 – National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

Chase Field
Chase Field
Chase Field is a baseball stadium located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona and is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. It opened in , just in time for the Diamondbacks' first game as an expansion team...

1
Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Their home arena since 1992 has been the US...

Basketball National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 – Western Conference
Western Conference (NBA)
Below is a list of current Western Conference NBA team rosters.-Western Conference:There are a total of 15 teams in the Western Conference. The current leading team of the Western conference are the Dallas Mavericks....

US Airways Center
US Airways Center
US Airways Center is a sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena...

0
Phoenix Coyotes
Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They play their home games at Jobing.com Arena....

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 – Western Conference
Western Conference (NHL)
The Western Conference is one of two conferences in the National Hockey League used to divide teams. Its counterpart is the Eastern Conference....

Jobing.com Arena 0
Phoenix Mercury
Phoenix Mercury
The Phoenix Mercury is a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded before the league's inaugural 1997 season began; it is one of the eight original franchises...

Basketball Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

US Airways Center
US Airways Center
US Airways Center is a sports and entertainment arena located in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It opened in 1992, and is the home of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association, the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena...

2
Phoenix Monsoon
Phoenix Monsoon (Soccer Team)
Phoenix Monsoon is an Outdoor/Indoor Professional Soccer team based in Phoenix Arizona. They will play indoors in 2011-2012 and plan to play outdoors in 2012.- History :...

Indoor Soccer
Indoor soccer
Indoor soccer or arena soccer, or six-a-side football in the United Kingdom, is a game derived from association football adapted for play in an indoor arena such as a turf-covered hockey arena or skating rink. The most important difference in play is that the indoor field is surrounded by a wall...

Professional Arena Soccer League
Professional Arena Soccer League
The Professional Arena Soccer League is an North American indoor soccer league recognized by FIFRA ....

Castle Sports Club 0

(*) Note: The Cardinals won 2 of their championships while in Chicago.

Parks and recreation

Phoenix is home to a large number of parks and recreation areas. Many waterparks are scattered around the valley to help residents cope with the harsh desert
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

 heat during the summer months. Some of the notable parks include Big Surf in Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

, Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix in Phoenix (has a Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

 mailing address), Golfland Sunsplash
Golfland
Golfland is a chain of family amusement centers, miniature golf courses, and water parks located in California and Arizona. The company was founded in 1953.-Locations:*Golfland in Milpitas, California...

 in Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

, and the Oasis Water Park at the Arizona Grand Resort – formerly known as Pointe South Mountain Resort – in Phoenix. The area also has two amusement parks, Castles N' Coasters
Castles N' Coasters
Castles N' Coasters is an amusement park and family amusement center located in Phoenix, Arizona. The approximately park features four outdoor 18-hole miniature golf courses, several rides, and an indoor video game arcade....

 in north Phoenix, next to the Metrocenter Mall and Enchanted Island located at Encanto Park
Encanto Park
Coordinates: Encanto Park is a public park in central Phoenix, Arizona. The park is composed of of land consisting of picnic areas, a lagoon, a boat house, swimming pool, nature trail, amusement park, fishing and two golf courses. The lagoon is approximately in surface area and about deep, on...

.
Many parks have been established to preserve the desert landscape in areas that would otherwise quickly be developed with commercial and residential zoning. The most noteworthy park is South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona, is the largest city park in the United States, one of the largest urban parks in North America and in the world. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.-Geography and Ecology:...

, the world's largest municipal park with 16500 acres (66.8 km²); others include Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is a mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. The name is derived from its shape, which resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel. The mountain, a prominent landmark for the metropolitan Phoenix valley, is located in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area...

, and Sunnyslope Mountain
Sunnyslope Mountain
Sunnyslope Mountain a.k.a. "S" Mountain is a large, rocky, nearly symmetrical hill in the Sunnyslope section of Phoenix, Arizona. It is located near Central Avenue and Hatcher. The southern slope of the mountain is adorned with a 150 foot white majuscule "S"...

, also known as "S" Mountain. The Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located within Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Founded by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937 and established at this site in 1939, the garden now has...

 displays desert plant life from deserts all over the world. Encanto Park
Encanto Park
Coordinates: Encanto Park is a public park in central Phoenix, Arizona. The park is composed of of land consisting of picnic areas, a lagoon, a boat house, swimming pool, nature trail, amusement park, fishing and two golf courses. The lagoon is approximately in surface area and about deep, on...

 is the city's largest and primary urban park, and lies just northwest of downtown Phoenix. Papago Park
Papago Park
Papago Park is a municipal park of the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, USA. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.-Description:...

 in east Phoenix is home to both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo
Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest non-profit zoo in the United States. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the zoo was founded by Robert Maytag, a member of the Maytag family, and operates on of land in the Papago Park area of Phoenix. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of...

, in addition to several golf courses and the Hole-in-the-Rock
Hole-in-the-Rock (Papago Park)
Hole-in-the-Rock is a natural geological formation in Papago Park, a municipal park of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona.-Description:Hole-in-the-Rock is a series of openings eroded in a small hill composed of bare red arkosic conglomerate sandstone...

 geological formation.

Media

See also: List of radio stations in Arizona, List of films shot in Phoenix.

The first newspaper in Phoenix was the weekly Salt River Valley Herald, which later changed its name to the Phoenix Herald in 1880.

Today, the city is served by two major daily newspapers: The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Republic is a daily newspaper published in Phoenix. Circulated throughout Arizona, it is the state's largest newspaper. Since 2000, it has been owned by the Gannett newspaper chain. It was ranked tenth in US daily newspapers by circulation in 2007.-Early years:The newspaper was founded...

(serving the greater metropolitan area) and the East Valley Tribune
East Valley Tribune
The East Valley Tribune is a publication concentrating on cities within the East Valley region of metropolitan Phoenix, including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek....

(serving primarily the cities of the East Valley). The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix
Jewish News of Greater Phoenix is an independent weekly Jewish newspaper published in Phoenix, Arizona. The newspaper reports on local, national, and international stories of interest to the Jewish community in metropolitan Phoenix.-History:...

is an independent weekly Jewish newspaper that was established in 1948. In addition, the city is also served by numerous free neighborhood papers and weeklies such as the Phoenix New Times
Phoenix New Times
The Phoenix New Times is a free, weekly Phoenix, Arizona newspaper, put out every Thursday. It is the founding publication of the New Times Media , but The Village Voice is now the flagship publication of that company....

, Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

's The State Press
State Press
The State Press is the independent, student-operated newspaper of Arizona State University. It publishes a free newspaper every weekday.-History:...

, and the College Times. For 40 years, The Bachelor's Beat
The Bachelor's Beat
The Bachelor's Beat is a paid-circulation, tabloid-style weekly newspaper published in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.Its content centers around local events, bands and clubs. It also contains editorials and commentary critical of local politicians....

, a paid weekly newspaper, has covered local politics while selling ads for area strip clubs and escort services.

The Phoenix metro area is served by many local television stations and is the 12th largest designated market area (DMA) in the U.S. with 1,802,550 homes (1.6% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KPNX
KPNX
KPNX is a full-service television station serving the Phoenix, Arizona television market as the NBC affiliate. Its studios and offices are located in Phoenix and its transmitter is on South Mountain in Phoenix but it is licensed to the suburb of Mesa. It is owned by the Gannett Company which also...

 12 (NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

), KNXV
KNXV-TV
KNXV-TV, is an ABC-affiliated television station in Phoenix, Arizona, broadcasting in digital on UHF channel 15. Owned by The E. W. Scripps Company, its transmitter is located on South Mountain in Phoenix....

 15 (ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

), KPHO
KPHO-TV
KPHO-TV, channel 5, is a CBS-affiliate television station located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. KPHO-TV is owned by the Meredith Corporation, and has its studios located on Black Canyon Highway in the Alhambra Village section of Phoenix, with its transmitter located on South Mountain in Phoenix...

 5 (CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

), KSAZ
KSAZ-TV
KSAZ-TV, virtual channel 10.1, is the Fox owned-and-operated station in Phoenix, Arizona. It is owned by Fox Television Stations in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV station KUTP ....

 10 (Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

), KUTP
KUTP
KUTP, channel 45, is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated station in Phoenix, Arizona. It is owned by Fox Television Stations, a division of the News Corporation, and is a sister station to Fox outlet KSAZ-TV . The two stations share studio facilities in Phoenix, and KUTP's transmitter is located on South...

 45 (MNTV), KASW
KASW
KASW is a full-service television station licensed to Phoenix, Arizona. It broadcasts in digital on UHF channel 49 from a transmitter located on South Mountain in Phoenix, on cable channel 6 on major Phoenix cable systems , and several translators in northern and eastern Arizona...

 61 (CW
The CW Television Network
The CW Television Network is a television network in the United States launched at the beginning of the 2006–2007 television season. It is a joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of United Paramount Network , and Time Warner's Warner Bros., former majority owner of The WB...

) and KAET
KAET
KAET is a full-service television station in Phoenix, Arizona, owned by the Arizona Board of Regents and operated by Arizona State University as a PBS member station. It broadcasts in digital on VHF channel 8 in the Phoenix metropolitan area from its transmitter on South Mountain...

 8 (PBS
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

, operated by ASU
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

). Other network television affiliates operating in the area include KPAZ
KPAZ-TV
KPAZ-TV is a Trinity Broadcasting Network-owned and operated television station in Phoenix, Arizona. It broadcasts in digital on UHF channel 20 from South Mountain in Phoenix...

 21 (TBN
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

),
KTVW
KTVW-TV
KTVW-DT is a Univision-owned and operated station located in Phoenix, Arizona. It broadcasts in digital on UHF channel 33 from its transmitter atop South Mountain in Phoenix. Its signal is repeated on several low-power translator stations in northern and eastern Arizona and is carried on all...

 33 (Univision
Univision
Univision is a Spanish-language television network in the United States. It has the largest audience of Spanish language television viewers according to Nielsen ratings. Randy Falco, COO, has been in charge of the company since the departure of Univision Communications president and CEO Joe Uva...

), KTAZ
KTAZ
KTAZ is a NBC Telemundo owned-and-operated television station in Phoenix, Arizona, broadcasting in digital on UHF channel 39 from South Mountain. KTAZ airs Spanish-language programming from the Telemundo network.-History:...

 39 (Telemundo
Telemundo
Telemundo is an American television network that broadcasts in Spanish. The network is the second-largest Spanish-language content producer in the world, and the second-largest Spanish-language network in the United States, behind Univision....

), KDPH 48 (Daystar
Daystar Television Network
The Daystar Television Network is an American evangelical Christian television religious broadcasting network headquartered near Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Bedford, Texas...

), and KPPX
KPPX
KPPX-TV is a full-service television station licensed to Tolleson, Arizona, and serving the Phoenix metropolitan area from its transmitter on South Mountain. It broadcasts exclusively in digital on UHF channel 51, having completed the conversion to DTV on February 17, 2009...

 51 (ION). KTVK
KTVK
KTVK is a full-service, independent television station in Phoenix, Arizona. It broadcasts in digital on UHF channel 24 from a transmitter located on South Mountain in Phoenix, and can be seen across northern Arizona on a network of nearly two dozen translator stations...

 3 (3TV) and KAZT
KAZT-TV
KAZT-TV is an independent television station in Prescott, Arizona, broadcasting locally in digital on VHF channel 7 from its transmitter located atop Mingus Mountain northeast of Prescott. Its analog signal is simulcast across central and northern Arizona through a translator system, and its...

 7 (AZ-TV) are independent television stations operating in the metro area. KAZT broadcasts in digital
ATSC
ATSC standards are a set of standards developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee for digital television transmission over terrestrial, cable, and satellite networks....

 format only.

The radio airwaves in Phoenix cater to a wide variety of musical and talk radio interests.

Many major feature films and television programs have been filmed in the city, including, Waiting to Exhale
Waiting to Exhale
Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 romance film starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett, directed by Forest Whitaker. The movie was adapted from the 1992 novel of the same name by Terry McMillan. Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon, Dennis Haysbert, Michael Beach, Gregory Hines, Donald Faison and Mykelti...

, War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds (1953 film)
The War of the Worlds is a 1953 science fiction film starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. It was the first on-screen loose adaptation of the H. G. Wells classic novel of the same name...

, Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder is a 1990 American auto racing film released by Paramount Pictures, produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Tony Scott. The cast includes Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes and Michael Rooker. The film also features appearances...

, Anastasia
Anastasia (1997 film)
Anastasia is a 1997 American animated musical film produced and directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. It was the first feature film to be released by Fox Animation Studios....

, American Anthem
American Anthem
American Anthem is a 1986 American film produced by Lorimar Motion Pictures and released in North America by Columbia Pictures. It was directed by Albert Magnoli, and starred Mitch Gaylord and Janet Jones. The subject of the film was a football player turned gymnast that was seeking to join the...

, 24
24 (TV series)
24 is an American television series produced for the Fox Network and syndicated worldwide, starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each 24-episode season covers 24 hours in the life of Bauer, using the real time method of narration...

, The Kingdom
The Kingdom (film)
The Kingdom is a 2007 film directed by Peter Berg and starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, with Kyle Chandler, Jeremy Piven and Ali Suliman....

, Transamerica
Transamerica (film)
Transamerica is a 2005 independent comedy-drama film produced by IFC Films and The Weinstein Company. The film tells the story of Bree, a transsexual woman , who goes on a road trip with her long-lost son Toby ....

, The Uninvited
The Uninvited (1944 film)
The Uninvited is a 1944 American supernatural mystery/romance film directed by Lewis Allen. It is based on the Dorothy Macardle novel Uneasy Freehold.Charles Lang was nominated for a 1945 Academy Award for Best Black and White Cinematography.-Plot:...

, What Planet Are You From, Take Me Home Tonight, Titan A.E.
Titan A.E.
Titan A.E. is an American animated post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman released in 2000. The title refers to the spacecraft that is central to the plot, with A.E. meaning "After Earth."...

, O.C. and Stiggs
O.C. and Stiggs
O.C. and Stiggs is a 1987 film directed by Robert Altman, based on two characters that were originally featured in a series of stories published in National Lampoon magazine. The film stars Daniel H. Jenkins and Neill Barry as the title characters...

, Pardners
Pardners
Pardners is a movie starring the comedy team of Martin and Lewis and was released on July 25, 1956 by Paramount Pictures.-Plot:The storyline involves two ranch partners who are killed by the 'Masked Raiders' defending their land. Their infant sons are separated, one being raised on the farm and...

, Private Lessons
Private Lessons (1981 film)
Private Lessons is the title of an American comedy film released in 1980. The film starred Sylvia Kristel, Howard Hesseman, Eric Brown, and Ed Begley, Jr.The screenplay was written by Dan Greenburg, who wrote the original source novel, Philly...

, Song of the South
Song of the South
Song of the South is a 1946 American musical film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film is based on the Uncle Remus cycle of stories by Joel Chandler Harris. The live actors provide a sentimental frame story, in which Uncle Remus relates the folk tales of the...

, The Gauntlet, Psycho
Psycho (1960 film)
Psycho is a 1960 American suspense/psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. The film is based on the screenplay by Joseph Stefano, who adapted it from the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch...

, Raising Arizona
Raising Arizona
Raising Arizona is a 1987 comedy film directed by the Coen Brothers and starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand and Randall "Tex" Cobb. Not a blockbuster at the time of its release, it has since achieved cult status...

, Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire is a 1996 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding, Jr. It was written, co-produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe...

, Baraka
Baraka (film)
Baraka is a 1992 non-narrative film directed by Ron Fricke. The title Baraka is a word that means blessing in a multitude of languages....

, Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine
Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama film. The road movie's plot follows a family's trip to a children's beauty pageant.Little Miss Sunshine was the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by first-time writer...

, Interstate 60
Interstate 60
Interstate 60: Episodes of The Road is a 2002 metaphysical comedy/drama road film starring James Marsden, Gary Oldman, and Amy Smart, with cameos by Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Chris Cooper, and Kurt Russell. The film was written and directed by Bob Gale.- Plot :The movie begins with two men...

, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a roughly 30-second gunfight that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Territory, of the United States. Outlaw Cowboys Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne ran from the fight, unharmed, but Ike's brother...

, Beyond the Law, A Home at the End of the World
A Home at the End of the World
A Home at the End of the World is a 1990 novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Michael Cunningham.The book is narrated in the first person, with the narrator changing in each chapter. Bobby and Jonathan are the main narrators, but several chapters are narrated by Alice, Jonathan's mother,...

, The Prophecy
The Prophecy
The Prophecy is a 1995 fantasy horror-thriller film starring Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Christopher Walken, Eric Stoltz, and Viggo Mortensen. It was written and directed by Gregory Widen, and is the first motion picture of The Prophecy series including four sequels...

, A Boy and His Dog
A Boy and His Dog
A Boy and His Dog is a cycle of narratives and films including or stemming from works of science fiction author Harlan Ellison.Ellison began the cycle with the 1969 short story of the same title, and a revised and expanded novella-length version was published in Ellison's story collection The Beast...

, Used Cars
Used Cars
Used Cars is a 1980 comedy satire film. It stars Kurt Russell, Jack Warden , Deborah Harmon, and Gerrit Graham.Kurt Russell portrays a devious car salesman working for affable but monumentally unsuccessful used car dealer Luke Fuchs . Luke's principal rival, located directly across the street, is...

, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 American science fiction–comedy buddy film and the first film in the Bill & Ted franchise in which two metalhead slackers travel through time to assemble a menagerie of historical figures for their high school history presentation.The film was written by...

(used as a stand-in for San Dimas, California
San Dimas, California
San Dimas is a city located in the San Gabriel Valley, in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 33,371. The city historically took its name from San Dismas Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains above the northern section of present day San Dimas...

), U Turn, Eight Legged Freaks
Eight Legged Freaks
Eight Legged Freaks is a 2002 comedy horror directed by Ellory Elkayem and stars David Arquette, Kari Wührer and Scott Terra. The plot concerns a collection of spiders that are exposed to toxic waste, causing them to grow to gigantic proportions and begin killing and harvesting...

, Bus Stop
Bus Stop (film)
Bus Stop is a 1956 film directed by Joshua Logan for 20th Century Fox, starring Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray, Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field, Eileen Heckart, Robert Bray and Hope Lange...

, The Getaway
The Getaway (1994 film)
The Getaway is a 1994 crime thriller and a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. The film stars Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Michael Madsen, James Woods, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jennifer Tilly, and was directed by Roger Donaldson.-Plot:...

, The Grifters
The Grifters (film)
The Grifters is a 1990 neo-noir film directed by Stephen Frears and produced by Martin Scorsese. It stars John Cusack, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening and is based upon The Grifters, a pulp novel by Jim Thompson.-Plot:...

, Electra Glide in Blue
Electra Glide in Blue
Electra Glide in Blue is a 1973 film starring Robert Blake as a motorcycle cop in Arizona and Billy Green Bush as his partner. The name stems from the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle issued to traffic cops....

, Private Lessons
Private Lessons (1981 film)
Private Lessons is the title of an American comedy film released in 1980. The film starred Sylvia Kristel, Howard Hesseman, Eric Brown, and Ed Begley, Jr.The screenplay was written by Dan Greenburg, who wrote the original source novel, Philly...

, Medium, Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie
Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie
Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie is a 2003 stand-up comedy film from Warner Bros. Pictures. It stars renowned comedians Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall and fellow Blue Collar comics Ron White and Larry The Cable Guy. The movie is similar in nature to that of The Original Kings of Comedy...

, Never Been Thawed
Never Been Thawed
Never Been Thawed is an independent film released in 2005 to a modest amount of media attention. It takes its name from the best condition a frozen entree can be in according to the film's fictional Mesa Frozen Entree Enthusiast's Club...

, Just One of the Guys
Just One of the Guys
Just One of the Guys is a 1985 comedy film, directed by Lisa Gottlieb. The film is marketed with the tagline "Terri Griffith is about to go where no woman has gone before." This movie ranked number 48 on Entertainment Weeklys list of the "50 Best High School Movies".-Plot:Terry Griffith is an...

, Away We Go, Terminal Velocity
Terminal Velocity (film)
Terminal Velocity is a 1994 action movie starring Charlie Sheen as a daredevil skydiver who becomes mixed up with Russian spies. It was written by David Twohy and directed by Deran Sarafian. Originally, Sheen's role was written for Tom Cruise, although William Baldwin was also considered. The...

, Taxi, Twilight
Twilight (2008 film)
Twilight is a 2008 American romantic vampire film based on Stephenie Meyer's popular novel of the same name. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. It is the first film in The Twilight Saga film series...

, and The Banger Sisters
The Banger Sisters
The Banger Sisters is a 2002 American comedy film produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures about the reunion of two middle-aged women who used to be friends and groupies when they were young. The movie starred Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush...

.

Government

As the capital of Arizona, Phoenix houses the state legislature
Arizona Legislature
The Arizona Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of a lower house, the House of Representatives, and an upper house, the Senate. There are 60 Representatives and 30 Senators...

. In 1913, the commission form of government was adopted. The city of Phoenix is served by a city council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 consisting of a mayor and eight city council members. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote to a four-year term. Phoenix City Council
Phoenix City Council
The Phoenix City Council includes the mayor and 8 councilmembers. Each councilmember is elected from a different district of the city of Phoenix. The councilmembers are elected to 4 year terms in a nonpartisan election.The Council:-External links:*...

 members are elected to four-year terms by voters in each of the eight separate districts that they represent. The current mayor of Phoenix is Phil Gordon
Phil Gordon (politician)
Phil Gordon is an American Democratic party politician, and the 58th and current mayor of Phoenix, Arizona. He was sworn in as mayor on January 2, 2004.-Early life, education, and early career:...

, a Democrat who was elected to a four-year term in 2003 and re-elected to an additional four-year term in 2007. However, being term-limited, Gordon is ineligible to run in the next mayoral election. The mayor and city council members have equal voting power to adopt ordinances and set the policies that govern the city.

Phoenix operates under a council-manager form of government, with a strong city manager
City manager
A city manager is an official appointed as the administrative manager of a city, in a council-manager form of city government. Local officials serving in this position are sometimes referred to as the chief executive officer or chief administrative officer in some municipalities...

 supervising all city departments and executing policies adopted by the Council.

As of February 9, 2009, Phoenix offers a domestic partnership registry open to opposite- and same-sex couples with no resident requirements for registrants.

The city's website was given a "Sunny Award" by Sunshine Review
Sunshine Review
Sunshine Review is a nonprofit wiki promoting proactive disclosure of government information online. The organization developed a ten-point transparency checklist to evaluate if government websites proactively and voluntarily disclose information to the public and media.The wiki-based website was...

 for its transparency efforts.

State government facilities

The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections
Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections
Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections is a state agency of Arizona, headquartered in Downtown Phoenix.Secure facilities include:* Adobe Mountain School * Black Canyon School...

 operates the Adobe Mountain School and the Black Canyon School in Phoenix. Another major state government facility is the Arizona State Hospital, operated by the Arizona Department of Health Services
Arizona Department of Health Services
Arizona Department of Health Services is a state agency of Arizona, headquartered in Downtown Phoenix. The agency provides health services to the state's population.-External links:*...

. This is a mental health center which is the only medical facility run by the state government.

The headquarters of numerous Arizona state government agencies are in Phoenix, with many located in the State Capitol district immediately west of downtown.

Federal government facilities

The Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a federal law enforcement agency subdivision of the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's...

 operates the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Phoenix near the northern boundary of the city.

The Sandra Day O'Connor US Courthouse, US District Court of Arizona, is located on Washington Street downtown. It is named in honor of retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor is an American jurist who was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until her retirement from the Court in 2006. O'Connor was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981...

, who was raised in Arizona.

The Federal Building is at the intersection of Van Buren Road and First Avenue downtown, and contains various federal field offices and the local division of the US Bankruptcy Court. This building also formerly housed the US District Court offices and courtrooms, but these were moved in 2001 to the new Sandra Day O'Connor US Courthouse. Before the construction of this building in 1961, federal government offices were housed in the historic US Post Office on Central Avenue, completed in the 1930s.

Crime

By the 1970s there was rising crime and a decline in business within the downtown core. Arizona Republic writer Don Bolles
Don Bolles
Don Bolles was an American investigative reporter whose murder in a bombing is linked to the Mafia.-Biography:...

 was murdered by a car bomb at the Clarendon Hotel in 1976. It was believed that his investigative reporting on organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 in Phoenix made him a target. Bolles' last words referred to Phoenix land and cattle magnate Kemper Marley, who was widely regarded to have ordered Bolles' murder, as well as John Harvey Adamson, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 1977 in return for testimony against contractors Max Dunlap and James Robison. Dunlap was convicted of first degree murder in the case in 1990 and remained in prison, until his death on July 21, 2009, while Robison was acquitted, but pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting violence against Adamson. Street gangs and the drug trade had turned into public safety issues by the 1980s. Van Buren Street, East of downtown (near 24th St), became associated with prostitution. The city's crime rates in many categories have improved since that time, but still exceed state and national averages.

The city has recently seen a tremendous drop in crime in recent years with 2008 and 2009 recording large declines in car thefts and murders. Phoenix expects to report to the FBI nearly 100 murders fewer in 2009 compared to two years prior when 222 murders occurred. Through November 2009, 106 murders were recorded in Phoenix.

Car theft
Motor vehicle theft
Motor vehicle theft is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle...

 has been a problem in Phoenix. The city consistently ranks high for both total thefts and rate per 100,000. In 2001, Phoenix was number one for theft rate with 35,161 total thefts, giving a rate of 1,081.25 per 100,000. However, in 2003, Phoenix dropped to second place with 1,253.71 per 100,000 (behind Modesto, California), although total car thefts rose to 40,769.

In 2008 Phoenix also experienced a huge decline in auto thefts dropping the city to the number 19 spot for such crimes; credit for the decline has been given to the Phoenix Police Department's efforts to patrol areas where reporting of thefts are prevalent and in use of bait cars to deter would-be thieves.

Phoenix continues to experience large drops in all crimes in 2009 (A 24% drop in all violent crimes in Phoenix for 2008, and a further 18% drop in crime through November 2009 have been experienced in the city).

In the late 2000s, Phoenix earned the title "Kidnapping capital of the USA". The majority of the kidnapped are believed to be victims of human smuggling, or related to illegal drug trade, while the kidnappers are believed to be part of Mexican Drug War
Mexican Drug War
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing armed conflict taking place among rival drug cartels who fight each other for regional control, and Mexican government forces who seek to combat drug trafficking. However, the government's principal goal has been to put down the drug-related violence that was...

 cartels, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel
Sinaloa Cartel
The Sinaloa Cartel is the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico and considered by the United States Intelligence Community as "the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world." The Sinaloa Cartel is based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, but also operates in the Mexican states of Baja...

. John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 has also called Phoenix the "Number-Two Kidnapping Capital of the World".

Education

Public education in the Phoenix area is provided by over 30 school districts. The Phoenix Union High School District
Phoenix Union High School District
The Phoenix Union High School District is a school district based in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is one of the state's oldest school districts and its largest high school-only district, serving 26,000 students in 17 schools and employing more than 2,800 people...

 operates most of the public high schools in the city of Phoenix. Charter school
Charter school
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter...

s such as North Pointe Preparatory
North Pointe Preparatory
North Pointe Preparatory is a public charter school located in Phoenix, Arizona that serves students in grades 7 through 12.-History:North Pointe Preparatory was established in August 2001, with 130 students in grades 7 through 9. In eight years, it has grown to its current maximum enrollment of...

, Sonoran Science Academy
Sonoran Science Academy
Sonoran Science Academy is a tuition-free public charter school with several locations in Arizona. SSA, a college preparatory school, emphasizes, though is not limited to, science, math, and computer science...

, and Veritas Preparatory Academy
Veritas Preparatory Academy
Veritas Preparatory Academy is a charter school in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States. Founded in 2006, Veritas Preparatory Academy offers a Great Books curriculum centered around Western culture, history, language, and literature...

 also exist.

Post-secondary education

  • Arizona State University
    Arizona State University
    Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

     is the main institution of higher education in the region, with campuses located in Tempe
    Tempe, Arizona
    Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with the Census Bureau reporting a 2010 population of 161,719. The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe is located in the East Valley section of metropolitan Phoenix; it is bordered by Phoenix and Guadalupe on the west, Scottsdale...

    , Northwest Phoenix (ASU West Campus), Downtown Phoenix
    Downtown Phoenix
    Downtown Phoenix is the central business district of Phoenix, Arizona, United States. It is located near the geographic center of the Phoenix metropolitan area or Valley of the Sun. Phoenix, being the county seat of Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, serves as the center of politics,...

     (ASU Downtown Campus) and Mesa
    Mesa, Arizona
    According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

     (ASU Polytechnic Campus). A branch of the University of Arizona College of Medicine
    University of Arizona College of Medicine
    The University of Arizona College of Medicine is the only MD granting medical school in the state of Arizona. It has two campuses: the Tucson campus is located at the Arizona Health Sciences Center and University Medical Center, and the Phoenix campus is located at the historic Phoenix Union High...

     is located at the downtown Phoenix campus. ASU is currently one of the largest public universities in the U.S., with a 2011 student enrollment of 72,250.

There are also small satellite offices for the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

 (based in Tucson
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

) and Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University is a public university located in Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and has 39 satellite campuses in the state of Arizona. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.As of...

 (based in Flagstaff
Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is a city located in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2010, the city's population was 65,870. The population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area was at 134,421 in 2010. It is the county seat of Coconino County...

) located in Phoenix.
  • Grand Canyon University
    Grand Canyon University
    Grand Canyon University is a for-profit Christian university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is owned by Grand Canyon Education . GCU was founded in 1949 as a non-profit liberal arts college. Grand Canyon Education, Inc. purchased Grand Canyon University in February 2004...

     is the nation's only private, for-profit
    For-Profit School
    For-profit education refers to educational institutions operated by private, profit-seeking businesses....

    , Christian university. Initially a non-profit school started in 1949, it was purchased by three investors who brought it out of bankruptcy. Since the takeover in 2004, enrollment has increased each year. It currently has over 10,000 students; almost 85% attend the school online.
  • Arizona Christian University is Arizona’s only private, accredited, non-profit, non-denominational Christian liberal arts university, founded in 1960.
  • Midwestern University-Glendale
    Midwestern University
    Midwestern University is a graduate degree-granting institution specializing in the health sciences with eight colleges and two campuses....

     is located in Glendale
    Glendale, Arizona
    Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

    , northwest of Phoenix proper. Founded as a sister school to the original campus in Downers Grove, Illinois
    Downers Grove, Illinois
    Downers Grove is a village in Downers Grove and Lisle Townships, DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 48,724 at the 2000 census, with an official estimated population of 49,250 in 2008.-History:...

    , it is home to a number of professional health care education programs at the doctorate and master's level. The degrees offered include the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
    Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
    Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is a professional doctoral degree for physicians in the United States. Holders of the MD degree, Doctor of Medicine, have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as osteopathic physicians in the United States.The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission...

     (DO), Master of Medical Science (MMS) in Physician Assistant
    Physician assistant
    A physician assistant/associate ' is a healthcare professional trained and licensed to practice medicine with limited supervision by a physician.-General description:...

     Studies, Doctor of Pharmacy
    Doctor of Pharmacy
    A Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional doctorate degree in pharmacy. In some countries, it is a first professional degree, and a prerequisite for licensing to exercise the profession of pharmacist.-Kenya :...

     (PharmD), Doctor of Clinical Psychology
    Doctor of Psychology
    The Doctor of Psychology degree is a professional doctorate earned through one of two established training models for clinical psychology...

     (PsyD), Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), Doctor of Dental Medicine
    Doctor of Dental Surgery
    There are a number of first professional degrees in dentistry offered by schools in various countries around the world. These include the following:* Doctor of Dental Surgery * Doctor of Dental Medicine * Bachelor of Dentistry...

     (DMD), Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and Doctor of Optometry (OD).
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management
    Thunderbird School of Global Management
    Thunderbird School of Global Management is a private business school whose main campus is located in Glendale, Arizona. Founded in 1946 by retired U.S...

     is regarded as a leading institution in the education of global managers and has operations in the United States (Glendale
    Glendale, Arizona
    Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

    ), Switzerland, the Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

    , Russia, Mexico, Central
    Central America
    Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

     and South America and China, and was ranked number 1 in international business by The Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

    's
    poll of corporate recruiters, U.S. News & World Report
    U.S. News & World Report
    U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

    , and the Financial Times
    Financial Times
    The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

    .
  • American Indian College
    American Indian College
    American Indian College is a private Christian college located in Phoenix, Arizona. Created for the purpose of "equipping Native Americans for Christian service," AIC currently educates students from about 25 tribes, but now also welcomes students of all ethnicities...

     is a private, Christian college located in the northwestern section of Phoenix.
  • The Art Institute of Phoenix
    The Art Institute of Phoenix
    The Art Institute of Phoenix – is one of The Art Institutes, a system of more than 40 educational institutions located throughout North America, providing education in design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts....

     is a small, private undergraduate college which offers various majors in the areas of design, fashion, media, and culinary arts. It admitted its first class in 1996.
  • Western Governors University
    Western Governors University
    Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit, American online university with nearly 30,000 students across the United States and in military bases overseas, as of December 2011. It is a competency-based university...

     opened a business office in Phoenix in 2006. WGU is an online non-profit university. Former Governor Janet Napolitano
    Janet Napolitano
    Janet Napolitano is the third and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She is the fourth person to hold the position, which was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the 21st...

     was on the WGU board until 2008. Former NAU President Clara Lovett
    Clara Lovett
    Clara M. Lovett , is a former president of Northern Arizona University.Lovette received her undergraduate education at the University of Trieste and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom...

     was very active in the creation of WGU during its early days. WGU has employees and students in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. In early June 2008, WGU passed current enrollment of 10,000 students spread throughout the U.S.
  • The University of Phoenix
    University of Phoenix
    The University of Phoenix is a for-profit institution of higher learning. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group Inc. which is publicly traded , an S&P 500 corporation based in Phoenix, Arizona...

     is also headquartered in Phoenix. This is the nation's largest for-profit university with over 130,000 students at campuses throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

    ), Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands, as well as online.
  • University of Advancing Technology
    University of Advancing Technology
    University of Advancing Technology is a private, family owned institution of higher education located in Tempe, Arizona. Founded in 1983, UAT is a university with multiple areas of study in technical fields, while retaining liberal arts requirements in the Fine Arts and Humanities...

     is a small, for-profit university, notable for being a technology-oriented school. Their newly expanded campus is located in Tempe, bordering Phoenix. The university is composed of four colleges, along with an online program for continuing adult education. As of 2009, about 1200 undergraduates and 50 postgraduates enroll at UAT.
  • Collins College is a for-profit career college focusing on visual arts. It has two campuses, one in Tempe and one in Phoenix. Both campuses are very small and do not include student housing; instead, Collins students must rent apartments in the area. In 2007, the Phoenix Business Journal ranked Collins as Arizona's top computer training school. Like many for-profit institutions, Collins is nationally accredited and its credits are not accepted by most regionally accredited institutions. In the past, Collins has drawn controversy for abuse of the federal financial aid program.
  • DeVry University
    DeVry University
    DeVry University and DeVry Institute of Technology are divisions of DeVry Inc , a proprietary, for-profit higher education organization that is also the parent organization for Keller Graduate School of Management, Ross University, American University of the Caribbean, Apollo College, Western...

     and Argosy University
    Argosy University
    Argosy University is a for-profit university owned by Education Management Corporation, with 19 locations in 13 U.S. states and online. The university offers numerous programs at various levels, including certification; associates, bachelors, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees, postdoctoral...

     are for-profit institutions with small campuses across the country and a large online presence. Both operate post-secondary schools on the west side of Phoenix.
  • Fortis College
    Fortis College
    Fortis College is a private post-secondary, for-profit institution that was established in 1969 and is operated by Education Affiliates. It was formerly Bohecker College, a sister school to the Centerville, Ohio Rets Technical Institute...

     is a private college offering diplomas and degrees in the medical field.
  • The Maricopa County Community College District
    Maricopa County Community College District
    The Maricopa County Community College District, in Maricopa County, Arizona, is the largest community college district in the United States. The district serves Maricopa County, the county that includes and surrounds Phoenix and is the most populous of the state's counties...

     includes ten community college
    Community college
    A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

    s and two skills centers throughout Maricopa County
    Maricopa County, Arizona
    -2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*73.0% White*5.0% Black*2.1% Native American*3.5% Asian*0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.5% Two or more races*12.7% Other races*29.6% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

    , providing adult education and job training. The first community college in the district as well as the state is Phoenix College
    Phoenix College
    Phoenix College is a community college located in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Founded in 1920, it is one of the oldest community colleges in the country....

    .
  • The Phoenix School of Law
    Phoenix School of Law
    The Phoenix School of Law is a private, for-profit law school located in Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 2005 and accredited by the American Bar Association in 2010, PhoenixLaw is the only private law school in Arizona...

     is a private law school located in downtown Phoenix and within the Phoenix Central Neighborhood. The Phoenix School of Law is the only private law school in Arizona and the only one with both a part-time evening program and full-time program; it is not affiliated with the similarly named University of Phoenix. Phoenix Law reports that 97% percent of its first graduating class passed the Arizona State Bar examination in July 2008.
  • Phoenix Seminary
    Phoenix Seminary
    Phoenix Seminary is an Inter/Multidenominational, evangelical, Protestant, Christian seminary established in 1987 in Phoenix, Arizona.-Ministry philosophy and statement of faith:Phoenix Seminary's ministry philosophy is "Scholarship with a Shepherd’s Heart"...

     is a seminary
    Seminary
    A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

     that has been fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
    Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
    The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada is an organization of seminaries and other graduate schools of theology. ATS has its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has more than 250 member institutions...

     (ATS) since 2002. Their ministry philosophy is "Scholarship with a Shepherd’s Heart". The seminary holds to a modified version of the National Association of Evangelicals
    National Association of Evangelicals
    The National Association of Evangelicals is a fellowship of member denominations, churches, organizations, and individuals. Its goal is to honor God by connecting and representing evangelicals in the United States. Today it works in four main areas: Church & Faith Partners, Government Relations,...

     Statement of Faith.

Air

Phoenix is served by Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located southeast of the central business district of the city of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States...

 , which is centrally located in the metro area near several major freeway interchanges east of downtown Phoenix. Sky Harbor is the tenth-busiest airport in the U.S. and 24th in the world for passenger traffic, handling more than 42 million travelers in 2007. The airport serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights. Aeroméxico
Aeroméxico
Airways of Mexico, SA de CV , operating as Aeroméxico, is the flag carrier airline of Mexico based in Colonia Cuauhtémoc, Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City. It operates scheduled domestic and international services to North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia...

, Air Canada
Air Canada
Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...

, British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

, and WestJet
WestJet
WestJet Airlines Ltd. is a Canadian low-cost carrier that provides scheduled and charter air service to 71 destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Founded in 1996, WestJet is currently the second largest Canadian air carrier, behind Air Canada, operating an average of...

 are among several international carriers as well as American carrier US Airways
US Airways
US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country....

 (which maintains a hub at the airport) providing flights to destinations such as Canada, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, and Mexico.

The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport , formerly Williams Gateway Airport and Williams Air Force Base , is a commercial airport located in the southeastern area of the city of Mesa, Arizona, and southeast of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. The airport is owned and operated by the...

  in neighboring Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

 also serves the area's commercial air traffic. It was converted from Williams Air Force Base
Williams Air Force Base
Williams Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base, located in Mesa, and about southeast of Phoenix, Arizona.It was active as a training base for both the United States Army Air Forces, as well as the USAF from 1941 until its closure in 1993...

, which closed in 1993. The airport has recently received substantial commercial service with Allegiant Air opening a focus city operation at the airport with non-stop service to over a dozen destinations.

Smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets include Phoenix Deer Valley Airport
Phoenix Deer Valley Airport
Phoenix Deer Valley Airport is a public use airport located 15 nautical miles north of the central business district of Phoenix, a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is owned by the City of Phoenix...

 , located in the Deer Valley district of northwest Phoenix, as well as municipal airports including Glendale Municipal Airport
Glendale Municipal Airport
Glendale Municipal Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located six miles west of the central business district of Glendale, a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. According to the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2007–2011, it is categorized as a reliever...

 and Phoenix Goodyear Airport
Phoenix Goodyear Airport
Phoenix Goodyear Airport , formerly known as Goodyear Municipal Airport, is a public airport located one mile southwest of the central business district of Goodyear, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States....

.

Rail and bus

Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 has not served Phoenix Union Station
Union Station (Phoenix)
Union Station in Phoenix, Arizona, is located at 401 South 4th Avenue in downtown Phoenix.- Architecture :Phoenix Union Station was constructed in 1923 by the Santa Fe and the Arizona Eastern Railroads. The Station is one of the best examples of Mission Revival architecture in Phoenix...

 since 1996; Phoenix is the largest incorporated city in the United States without intercity passenger train service. The Sunset Limited
Sunset Limited
The Sunset Limited is a passenger train that for most of its history has run between New Orleans, Louisiana and Los Angeles, California, and that from early 1993 through late August 2005 also ran east of New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida, making it during that time the only true transcontinental...

 and Texas Eagle
Texas Eagle
The Texas Eagle is a 1306-mile passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the central and western United States. Trains run daily between Chicago, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas, and continue to Los Angeles, California, 2728 miles total, three days a week...

 stop three times a week at Maricopa
Maricopa, Arizona
-Surrounding Municipalities:-Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 43,482 people, 14,359 households, and 11,110 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,356.8 people per square mile . There were 17,240 housing units at an average density of 540.4 per square mile...

, thirty miles south of downtown Phoenix (for shuttle and other travel information, see the Texas Eagle site).

Amtrak Thruway buses connect Sky Harbor to Flagstaff
Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is a city located in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2010, the city's population was 65,870. The population of the Metropolitan Statistical Area was at 134,421 in 2010. It is the county seat of Coconino County...

 for connection with the daily Southwest Chief
Southwest Chief
The Southwest Chief is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 2256-mile BNSF route through the Midwestern and Southwestern United States. It runs from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California, passing through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California...

 service to Los Angeles and Chicago. Phoenix is served by Greyhound
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

 bus service, with the station at 24th Street located near the airport.

Public transportation

Valley Metro
Valley Metro (Phoenix)
Valley Metro is the unified public brand of the regional transit system in and around the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area, responsible for public transit.-About Valley Metro:...

 provides public transportation throughout the metropolitan area, with its trains, buses, and a ride-share
Carpool
Carpooling , is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car....

 program. 3.38% of workers commute by public transit. During the summer it is very difficult to wait for a bus in the heat as many of the stops have no canopies. Valley Metro's 20 miles (32.2 km) light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 project, called METRO
METRO Light Rail (Phoenix)
Metro Light Rail is a 32 km light rail line operating in the U.S. state of Arizona. Part of the Valley Metro public transit system, it serves the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Construction began in March 2005; operation started December 27, 2008...

, through north-central Phoenix, downtown, and eastward through Tempe and Mesa, opened December 27, 2008. Future rail segments of more than 30 miles (48.3 km) are planned to open by 2030.

For additional information, see: METRO Light Rail (Phoenix)
METRO Light Rail (Phoenix)
Metro Light Rail is a 32 km light rail line operating in the U.S. state of Arizona. Part of the Valley Metro public transit system, it serves the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Construction began in March 2005; operation started December 27, 2008...

.

Bicycle transportation

In 2000, bicycle transportation was a mode that 0.89% of Phoenix commuters utilized, down from 1.12% a decade earlier.

The Maricopa Association of Governments
Maricopa Association of Governments
The Maricopa Association of Governments is an association of governments that represents the bulk of the metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona. It was formed as a result of the guidelines of the 1973 Federal Transportation Act...

 has a bicycle advisory committee working to improve conditions for bicycling on city streets and off-road paths.

Walkability

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Phoenix the 33rd most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.

Roads and freeways

The street system in Phoenix (also adhered to by some of its suburbs, such as Glendale and Scottsdale) is laid out in a traditional grid system, with most roads oriented either north-south or east-west. The zero point is the intersection of Central Avenue and Washington Street. Numbered Avenues run north–south west of Central; numbered Streets run north–south east of Central. Major arterial streets are spaced one mile (1.6 km) apart. The one-mile (1.6 km) blocks are divided into approximately 1000 house numbers north and south, and 800 house numbers east and west, although this varies. Scottsdale Road, being 7200 East, is approximately 7200 / 800 = 9 miles (14 km) east of Central. The Valley Metro bus numbers are also based on this numbering system, with the Central Avenue bus being Route Zero, and Scottsdale Road being Route 72.

Phoenix is served by a growing network of freeways, many of which were initiated by a ½ cent general sales tax measure approved by voters in 1985. Before this network, Interstate 10
Interstate 10 in Arizona
In the U.S. state of Arizona, Interstate 10, the major east–west Interstate Highway in the southern United States, runs east from California, enters Arizona and continues through Phoenix and Tucson and exits at the border with New Mexico.-Route description:...

 and Interstate 17
Interstate 17
Interstate 17 , also known as the Black Canyon Freeway, is an intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within the state of Arizona, United States. I-17's southern terminus lies within Phoenix, at Interstate 10, and its northern terminus is in Flagstaff, at Interstate 40...

 handled almost all freeway traffic in Phoenix, placing a large burden on surface arterial streets, leading to increased traffic congestion as the area grew in size.

The current freeway system comprises two interstate routes (I-10 and I-17), the nearly transcontinental US 60, and several state highways as well – including SR 51, SR 85, Loop 101, SR 143, and Loop 202
Arizona State Route 202
State Route 202, or Loop 202, is the beltway encompassing the eastern Phoenix, Arizona, United States Metropolitan area. It navigates and surrounds the cities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert, making it very vital to the area freeway system...

.

Eventually, several other state highways (Loop 303, SR 24, and SR 30) will make their way into the system as they are needed.
  • Interstate 10
  • Interstate 17
  • State Route 51
  • State Route 101
  • State Route 143
  • State Route 202
    Arizona State Route 202
    State Route 202, or Loop 202, is the beltway encompassing the eastern Phoenix, Arizona, United States Metropolitan area. It navigates and surrounds the cities of Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert, making it very vital to the area freeway system...

  • State Route 303 (planned)
  • U.S. 60
    U.S. Route 60 in Arizona
    U.S. Route 60 is an east–west United States highway within Arizona. The highway runs for from a junction with Interstate 10 near Quartzsite to the New Mexico State Line near Springerville...


  • Sister cities

    Phoenix, Arizona, has ten sister cities, as designated by the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission:
    Taipei
    Taipei
    Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

     (Taiwan
    Republic of China
    The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

    ) (1979) – Las Cruces
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    Las Cruces, also known as "The City of the Crosses", is the county seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 97,618 in 2010 according to the 2010 Census, making it the second largest city in the state....

     (USA) (2011) – Calgary
    Calgary
    Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies...

     (Alberta
    Alberta
    Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

    , Canada) (1997) – Catania
    Catania
    Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

     (Sicily
    Sicily
    Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

    , Italy) (2001) – Chengdu
    Chengdu
    Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

     (People's Republic of China) (1986) – Ennis
    Ennis
    Ennis is the county town of Clare in Ireland. Situated on the River Fergus, it lies north of Limerick and south of Galway. Its name is a shortening of the original ....

    , Co. Clare, (Ireland) (1988)
    Grenoble
    Grenoble
    Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère...

     (Rhône-Alpes
    Rhône-Alpes
    Rhône-Alpes is one of the 27 regions of France, located on the eastern border of the country, towards the south. The region was named after the Rhône River and the Alps mountain range. Its capital, Lyon, is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris...

    , France) (1990) – Hermosillo
    Hermosillo
    Hermosillo is a city and municipality located centrally in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. It is the capital and main economic center for the state and region. It contains almost all of the state's manufacturing and has thirty percent of its population...

     (Sonora
    Sonora
    Sonora officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo....

    , Mexico) (1975) – Himeji
    Himeji, Hyogo
    is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. As of April 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 535,945, with 206,409 households. The total area is 534.43 km².- History :...

     (Hyōgo
    Hyogo Prefecture
    is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

    , Japan) (1976) – Prague
    Prague
    Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

     (Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

    ) (1991) but currently inactive – Ramat Gan (Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    ) (2005) United Arab EmiratesDubai
    Dubai
    Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

     (United Arab Emirates
    United Arab Emirates
    The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

    ) Partner city

    See also

    • Largest cities in the Americas
      Largest Cities in the Americas
      This is a list of the 50 largest cities in the Americas by population. Official definitions of cities are defined according to the concept of city proper, which is the territory within the city limits. The list ranks the world's urban municipal units according to population...

    • List of tallest buildings in Phoenix

    Notable people from Phoenix, Arizona
    • Phoenix metropolitan area
      Phoenix Metropolitan Area
      The Phoenix metropolitan area, often referred to as The Valley of the Sun, is a metropolitan area, centered on the city of Phoenix, that includes much of the central part of the US state of Arizona...



    External links

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