How does the City of Tucson estimate the number of housing units needed?

    Using the projected population increase in the City of Tucson (2022 – 2060 from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, plus the approximate number of homeless individuals in Tucson (assumed to stay constant) gives a total population increase of 79,000. This figure is then divided by the US Census average household size (2.5) and lastly, rounded to the nearest 100. This result is a basic approximation and is not intended to be an official target. A more thorough housing needs assessment would give more accurate results, including a breakdown of housing types.

    Does the Future Growth Scenario Map show future land use zoning?

    No, the Future Growth Map is neither a regulatory map nor a current or future zoning map. It is an illustrative map showing one scenario of how Tucson could accommodate the projected population increases.

    How does the Future Growth Scenario Map influence climate resilience, transportation, and other infrastructure?

    The layout of our city, often driven by the location and concentration of housing and jobs, impacts how its residents move through the transportation system and how much natural resources are needed, such as water, electricity, and even the materials used to build the structures. For example, higher concentrations of housing and jobs when located along transit lines or near key community hubs, like education and medical campuses, can create a more "walkable" community, over time reducing the need for, and thus the amount of carbon emissions from, personal vehicles. Denser housing developments tend to use less water and electricity. Heat is a concern in arid climates like Tucson. Roads are a significant contributor to urban heat island effect. Lower density developments are more spread out over a large land area and require more access roads, which overall creates more impervious cover on a greater amount of land. 

    The Future Growth Scenario Map doesn’t guarantee a specific future, but it can be a tool that encourages land uses to align more closely to our preferences. Community members will compare scenarios against each other using the impacts on climate and transportation metrics in late Spring 2024.

    How does the Future Growth Scenario Map influence housing & jobs in Tucson?

    Land in Tucson is assigned a “zone” which determines the kind of use (housing, commercial, industrial, and more) and intensity. When a property owner wishes to change the zoning on their property they initiate a re-zoning, also called an entitlement process. In this process, the City Zoning Examiner reviews the change for alignment with the general plan’s Future Growth Scenario Map and other planning documents.

    How is the Future Growth Scenario Map created & updated?

    The 2013 map was created using data such as existing conditions, adopted zoning, land use plans, financial analyses, national trends, local input, and approved infrastructure projects. The 2013 Plan Tucson Future Growth Scenario Map is the foundation for the updated map. The Updated Scenario Map will reflect updated local input and Tucson’s related policies and plans. 

    To update the Map, the Plan Tucson team will use the Input survey results to develop a range of hypothetical future growth scenarios that would accommodate projected population growth, using the 2013 future growth scenario map as a foundation. Then, the Tucson community will review and give feedback on the scenarios. Community feedback on these scenarios will be used to update the future growth scenario map in Plan Tucson. In this way, community input is helping to formulate and refine the scenario that makes it to Plan Tucson.

    How are Neighborhoods incorporated into the Future Growth Scenario Map?

    The Future Growth Scenario Map recognizes neighborhoods as generally stable and as a foundational unit for the city. While existing neighborhoods are not identified for more intensive growth, to maintain their stability these neighborhoods will require ongoing investment in the maintenance and enhancement of existing properties as well as in neighborhood infrastructure and services.

    How is the Future Growth Scenario Map interpreted?

    The Map is illustrative, hence the edges of the growth areas, represented by “blobs,” are depicted as fuzzy. If a citizen requests an interpretation of an edge(s), the City’s Planning and Development Services Department (PDSD) will make an interpretation based on best practices. The PDSD Director will make the final determination regarding the interpretation following a process modeled on the Urban Development Code Section 1.5.1. regarding fees, timing, and process.

    How does the Future Growth Scenario Map in Plan Tucson relate to future land use maps in neighborhood and area plans?

    If a specific plan’s land use designation conforms to a discretionary land use application (e.g., a rezoning), the specific plan designation takes precedence over any guidance that the Future Growth Scenario Map may provide.

    The Future Growth Scenario Map may be used in considering amendments to specific plans. That is, someone proposing a development could consider the map in making a case for such an amendment. However, it would not be a guarantee of approval of an amendment. Policy applicable to the context being created by the development also would need to be looked at.

    The Map does not determine what is “allowed” in the approximately 25% of the City not covered by specific plans. Rather, in any rezoning case in which a specific plan (e.g., a neighborhood or area plan) does not exist, the analysis would be similar to current City land use analyses. That is, the development review policies, appropriate General Plan policies, and the context of the property would be considered