Phoenix : The Place to Be

 

Phoenix  is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the fifth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to approximately 1.5 million people, and is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area (known as the Valley of the Sun), the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with nearly 4.3 million people. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County, and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.

Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881 after being founded in 1861 near the Salt River, near its confluence with the Gila River. The city eventually became a major transportation hub in North America and a main transportation, financial, industrial, cultural and economic center of the Southwestern United States. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, Janet Napolitano, Carl Hayden, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Residents of the city are known as Phoenicians.

Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has the hottest climate of any major city in the United States. The average high temperatures are over 100°F (37.8°C) for three months out of the year, and have spiked over 120°F (48.9°C) on occasion.

Since the year 1986, Phoenix has been divided into  small urban villages, 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.

The early economy of Phoenix was primarily agricultural, dependent mainly on cotton and citrus farming. 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 nationwide recession began; housing prices plunged. As Phoenix is the state capital, many residents in the area are employed by the government. Arizona State University 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.

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