City Council focuses on redevelopment, innovation, neighborhoods and more in new strategic framework

Chandler City Council recently unveiled five areas of focus the city will drill down on in the coming years to ensure Chandler is a highly revered city that maintains an exceptional quality of life.

On Aug. 5, mayor and council sat down with Community Impact Newspaper during a Facebook live event to discuss what the five areas of the strategic framework mean for the city moving forward.

"Its goal is to acknowledge and recognize that Chandler is a world-class community that provides excellent services," Mayor Kevin Hartke said of the strategic framework. "We believe that we have spent a lot of time listening to our community on things that matter, and so we wanted to incorporate that into a document that will keep us, our staff, and future councils and staff on target to continue to provide prosperity to our community."

The five prongs of the strategic framework are infill and redevelopment, innovation and technology, mobility, neighborhoods and quality of life.

Vice Mayor Terry Roe said in terms of infill and redevelopment, downtown Chandler is a great example.

"The downtown has so much to offer, and in a very short time it is really starting to bloom," Roe said. "Whether it's the Hidden House or the Quarthaus or the Civic Market or Overstreet, there's just so many great things that are happening and that are happening in a short amount of time."

The framework outlines the city's focus on mixed-use projects, targeted efforts to repurpose vacant retail spaces and an emphasis on workforce development and high-quality education.

For City Council, quality of life means more than maintaining a safe and beautiful community. Council Member Sam Huang said it is making sure the city provides events and resources to residents while fostering relationships.

"In terms of events and programming, it's not just to provide entertainment," Huang said. "It's also used to connect the people and to feel a sense of community. If we can create a sense of community, we ensure that we can have a more [harmonious] society and we can ensure that we have a safer city, too."

Huang also noted Chandler's dedication to its many parks. The framework outlines the city's desire for destination parks and open spaces.

Council Member Rene Lopez said Chandler will also focus on mobility, but also that mobility is more than just the city's roads. Lopez said it includes the city's airport, electronic scooters, mass transit and other systems that connect Chandler residents with neighboring cities.

"We want to be innovative, and we want to be sure we are making proper use of our citizen's dollars," Lopez said.

Innovation, technology and neighborhoods were other talking points within the strategic framework discussion. Council highlighted that the city intends to focus on embracing sustainable solutions that improve quality of life and piloting innovative ideas to promote efficiency throughout the city—some of that ties in with the city's plan for neighborhoods.

The city will take a "holistic approach," according to the framework document, to improving neighborhoods by coordinating within city departments, nonprofits, business partners, faith agencies and community members.

For more on the strategic framework discussion, visit the Community Impact Newspaper Chandler Facebook page.