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Leaders Agree To Revitalize Communities Near Arizona's Salt River

Community leaders gathered near the Salt River on Friday, agreeing to re-imagine and revitalize communities that abutt the river bottom.

The event marked the launch of “The Rio Reimagined” project, which aims to restore areas along the river’s 45-mile stretch throughout the Valley.

Some communities have worked on their own revitalization plans for awhile, but the rest are now saying they'll work in unison to connect all the communities.

Neil Giuliano is the CEO of Greater Phoenix Leadership and the former mayor of Tempe. He said the content of the project is yet to be determined.

"I think you'll see an emphasis on economic development, conservation, community building, perhaps a pathway, and a walkway, and a green belt, and a water belt intermittent all throughout the entire 40-something miles," he said.

Giuliano said the idea of sprucing up the dry river bottom throughout the region began in the 1960s. So far, Tempe Town Lake has been developed, spurring commercial and residential buildings along the way.

Austin Westfall was an intern at KJZZ in 2018.