Matrix Design Group completed a targeted growth management plan (TGMP) for Luke Air Force Base (AFB) as a community-led, collaborative planning effort between Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Luke AFB, and surrounding jurisdictions. The TGMP involves 14 partnering communities with the shared goal of enhancing the mutually beneficial relationship between Luke AFB and West Valley communities.

The coming expansion of Luke AFB due to its designation as the new F-35A Lightning II fighter jet training facility will bring over 7,000 new military personnel, Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees, and military and civilian family members to the region. The plan,  funded by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), addressed the potential impacts of the mission expansion on the transportation, economic and workforce development, education, and housing aspects of local communities, as well as examined the ability of those communities to meet the anticipated additional demands on related facilities and services.

Matrix conducted extensive public outreach during the development of the plan. The results of community-wide and Luke AFB surveys conducted online during the study period helped to gauge preferences of residents of nearby cities and Luke AFB. A key product of the TGMP was an online StoryMap, “Mission Critical,” which included a summary of the findings of the study,  interactive maps, and created a centralized hub of information on various resources in the region to aid military families in addressing their needs even before relocating to Arizona. Mission Critical is considered an asset for all current and future residents and is an effective tool for decision-making processes by MAG and communities. This means of public outreach also serves as an ongoing method of educating the public in a way that is meaningful, user-friendly, and invites conversation and feedback.

The plan won the American Planning Association Arizona Chapter award for 2020 Best Regional Plan and gained letters of support for this award from the Air Force, local mayors, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, Arizona State University, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, and MAG.