The Phoenix metropolitan area consists of an east valley that has multi city regions in it
PHX East Valley, a project with an area coalition known as the East Valley Partnership, defines the East Valley as an area that encompasses Apache Junction, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, and Tempe.
The East Valley Tribune, a newspaper that serves the region, considers Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, and Tempe as its service area. The newspaper formerly served Scottsdale as well, but pulled out of the city in 2009.
Ahwatukee, which is an urban village of the City of Phoenix, is normally considered to be part of the East Valley as well.
Valley Metro defines its East Valley service area for its ADA Paratransit service to include Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
The term “East Valley” to describe that part of Metropolitan Phoenix east of the city of Phoenix emerged in the early 1980s. Metro Phoenix is in the Salt River Valley, which has been marketed as the Valley of the Sun. A newspaper publisher, Charles Wahlheim, started using East Valley in the Mesa Tribune, Chandler Arizonan, and the Tempe Daily News – newspapers purchased by the Cox newspaper chain out of Atlanta – as a marketing device aimed at giving his company’s newspapers creditability as alternatives to the powerful Phoenix-based Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette.
In 1980, Phoenix dwarfed other cities in the region with a population of 789,704.Mesa was the next biggest city with a population of 152,404, followed by Tempe with a population of 106,919. A group called the Phoenix 40 heavily influenced the region’s politics and business matters affecting the entire region. Wahlheim approached Chandler grocery-chain owner Eddie Basha and asked him to help create a business group to be the East Valley’s answer to the Phoenix 40. That group was named the East Valley Partnership, an organization of business, education and political leaders that continues to advocate on behalf of the East Valley and its cities. One of the founders of the partnership was the late Jack Whiteman of Empire Southwest, a heavy equipment company. “My dad and a number of East Valley businesses wanted to have the East Valley equivalent of the Phoenix 40,” John Whiteman, who followed his dad as head of the prosperous dealership, told the East Valley Tribune. “Back then everything seemed to be going to Phoenix.”
Ten years after the regional concept was introduced, it was politically institutionalized with the state legislature’s creation of the East Valley Institute of Technology. What had once been the Mesa Vocational School was given a new name and an East Valley-wide tax base. Today, its services are offered to 10 school districts.