Phoenix arizona skyline at dusk

How one city is creating partnerships to realize growth and climate goals

In the fourth episode of The City Citizen, Kate Gallego, Mayor of Phoenix, talks to Meghan Mills about Phoenix’s journey to become the most sustainable desert city in the US. 

In this fascinating episode, Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego – one of the youngest, female big city mayors in the United States – explains that she is on a mission to turn Phoenix into the most sustainable desert city in the US.

She tells Meghan Mills, EY Global Strategy and Operations Leader – Government and Public Sector, that to do this as a growing desert community, they are focusing on water management and choosing building styles that suit the hot desert environment. They are also using solar power to generate electricity and pavement cooling technology as well as getting into green financing.

She explains to Meghan that, as a growing population, their focus is on tackling water shortages, access to water and other challenges like jobs and housing and ensuring the transit system can support their growing communities.

She also highlights that Phoenix is one of the leading emerging bioscience markets and is fast becoming a hub for the semi-conductor industry as well as a home to top companies and great entrepreneurs.

To ensure citizens can benefit from this kind of employment, they are upskilling and reskilling people, always with an aim to make these industries gender diverse. 

Technology and innovation are at the heart of everything Phoenix is doing. Now, when you arrive there, you can hail a “robotaxi” to take you to your destination.

And as they are hosts to the Super Bowl, which is broadcast in 130 countries, Kate believes it is the perfect chance for them to tell their transformation story to an international audience.

Key takeaways:

  • More and more cities are turning to green financing and bonds issuance to fund their sustainability ambitions and programs.
  • Sustainable economic development can benefit society at large by providing new job prospects. Partnership with community colleges to deliver accessible and relevant education and reskill citizens is essential to retaining talent and building the workforce of the future.    
  • Every citizen should have the opportunity to be heard and have a say in where a city should be investing. Cities need to find novel and creative ways to reach and engage with their residents to help make this happen.  

You can also listen to this podcast on Amazon MusicApple Podcast and Spotify.

A full text transcript of this podcast is available­­­­­­ too.


Episode 4


15m 39s