The following was completed for my mayoral run
and remain viable solutions.

"Just a Dream?"
A Designer's Visions for Tucson and Our Region

"It's Not Enough!" We must be BOLD; we must have a fully engaged and promoted "Design Vision", a continuously supported "series of economic Visions" for Tucson and our Region.

Seeking to be Mayor, and the Critically Important Missing Dialogue & Understanding
Seeking to be Mayor is only part of the battle of the role of Leadership locally is my perspective. I possess a continuing frustration with intentional destruction of our doers and messengers I believe is a key for our success to all our goals and desires.

Share with me this inspiration for Tucson—Or is this "Just a Dream?"

I awoke from a deep sleep in the year 2025, to find myself entering a strange and wonderful new Tucson world. Fifteen years had passed and item appeared as if the determined of so many concerned citizens had finally paid off.

I had taken one of the hundred direct flights into the recently expanded Tucson International Airport, and surveyed the many transportation options into the City. A giant interactive map highlighted several interconnected urban centers within the Region, each with its own unique identity and amenities and all surrounded by vast still-natural Mountain and desert preserves that Tucson had become famous for. See more »

I jumped on the Modern Streetcar and rode it down the Kino/Campbell Rio Research Corridor toward the University. The Corridor was lined with new laboratory buildings from the Freeway to Oro Valley, fulfilling the promise of the prophetic Bio Roadmap of the 1990's. The UA Campus remained a tapestry of landscape and open space, weaving together as artful mix of preserved historic and striking contemporary buildings. Tucson's first true urban space had continued its growth into one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. And Arizona's higher education had apparently once again been funded as needed to lead the state to economic prosperity.

Heading Downtown, I saw that the Modern Streetcar route had become a linear oasis, punctuated with thriving retail centers, such as the enhanced but still quirky 4 Th avenue district. Streetcar stops were creativity deigned to provide shaded shopping and entertainment areas and the surrounding Neighborhoods had been restored their historic ambience. The Streetcar project had worked – and people of all ages were enjoying a rich and harmonious urban Neighborhood environment.

Moving through the dramatic new 4 Th Avenue Downtown Gateway, it was clear that Tucson's City Center had indeed arrived. Familiar hotels and restaurants were interspersed with new mixed-use, high-density developments that tastefully reflected the unique culture and ecology of the Sonoran Desert. I saw specialized commercial districts with shaded walkways, busy bike paths, fashionable storefronts and galleries and fully occupied housing and office buildings above them, perfected placed in a new Design District.

The once ridiculed Rio Nuevo Development was filled with thriving hotels, convention facilities and civic buildings. A world class Cultural District featured historical treasures, museums and other cultural development, reminding us of our orgins and at the base of A Mountain. On the edge of Downtown stood a state of the art Sports Stadium Complex where Tucson's newest Major League sports teams played. The City streets & mediums were trimmed, clean and litter-free, and the fuel efficient cars on the road flowed easily through town.

A new Multi-model Transpiration Center offered several attractive transit options. I could take the Streetcar to the north, east or south side of town or ride the new-generation bus to more out of the way destinations. Or maybe hop the new Bullet Train to Phoenix or Las Vegas? The old urban sprawl and long commutes were gone, and the community had achieved its sustainable growth objectives. I even saw a news article supporting the Downtown Growth initiatives on my hand held all purpose computer.

I stopped to see a breath-taking 3-D IMAX productions of the Soronan Desert, and Tucson's many visitor attractions, and it was clean the Old Pueblo had grown up into something more special than we could have everthing we have imagined.

Then the theatre lights came on and I awoke with a start to find that I had dozed off in my Living Room chair. I rubbed my eyes and sighed... in the realization that it was all just a dream. Or was it?

Just a Dream?? Or the goals and visions for our Region?

With patience and persistence, collaboration, compromise and cash, we can achieve true continuous success for Tucson and our Region.

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Capture the Optimism

In the 20-25 years duration of my community involvement, I have never witnessed such intense optimism and positive forces exhibited so many of us striving for a better Tucson than now.

Even before the initiation of much needed, long overdue Imagine Greater Tucson (IGT) visionary process became a reality, there are so many organizations of involved citizens desiring the same goals and results for our wonderful, unique area. We must capitalize on this excitement and motivation to create an even more wonderful place for ourselves and those who wish to visit or reside here in the future.

Create a World Class City

Perhaps, I am very motivated, as I have grown tired of hearing of Austin, Seattle, and Denver and so on---we have the best place but we must strive to make it better with short and long range goals.

These long range goals can materialize within IGT but require full engagement. As a proud member of a proud, community active Design Community of designer, planners, related consultants and landscape and building architects, I believe what is missing from today's important rhetoric of our future paths; we must have an overview, a Vision, and as indicated by IGT, a series of Visions projecting our future progress for "next year", for "five years from now", "ten years from now" and so on. See more »

The preferred path is a projection of achievable, tractable goals of our stated progress established within those years. I believe we must literally have a simple agreeable "listing to follow".

More importantly, not only should this Vision be projected and determined by our region's residents in progress now thru IGT, but our Elected Officials, Business, all other Leaders and Leadership Organizations should be fully engaged, promoting and completely on board and united in supporting and assisting in creating these Visions for us.

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Joseph Maher signature
Joseph Maher, Jr.
Citizen Architect
Candidate for Mayor