When it comes to attracting businesses to their downtowns, many city leaders like to promote “walkability.” It means an area is pedestrian safe and welcoming. But, in Phoenix, the woman whose main job is to help create jobs, said “walkability” is nothing special. Instead, she thinks the nation’s 6th-largest city should focus more on its small-town feel.
When Chris Mackay tries to lure a new business to downtown Phoenix, here’s what’s not in her pitch: “To say that we’re walkable and connected. That just makes us one of many.”
What makes Phoenix different, said Mackay, the city’s economic development director, is its authenticity.