This is downtown (pre CityScape):
This isn't downtown, either (it's 24th Street and Camelback):
I wouldn't dare move to Chicago and claim that Hyde Park is the Loop. Nor could I say Hawthorne is downtown Minneapolis. Cincinnatians would quickly set me straight if I said Over the Rhine is downtown — downtown begins at Central Parkway. The natives in all these cities wouldn't let me get away with it. Nor would the transplants who felt a convert's zeal to protect the geographical integrity of their cities.
Yet people in "the Valley" (Silicon? Red River — of the north or of the south? San Joaquin? San Fernando? Of the Jolly Ho Ho Ho Green Giant?), many of them from these very cities, get away with this transgression every day in Phoenix.
Downtown Phoenix runs from Seventh Avenue to Seventh Street, and from the railroad tracks to Fillmore, or perhaps Roosevelt. It includes the original townsite and some additions. City Hall's definition taking the northern boundary to McDowell is ahistorical.