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Old 12-17-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,036,932 times
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Wow, awesome that so many people replied and have such strong feelings about the SW, my favorite place on Earth. Personally, I don't think east of west Texas/El Paso could be called part of the SW. To me a great Southwest city has a decent mix of American, Mexican, and Indian culture while maintaining a connection to the awesome SW natural environment, be it desert or mountains. I've lived in Phoenix all my life and unfortunately it's at the bottom of my list. Phoenix has struggled to be LA #2 for so long that we lost our city's soul in the process. I can't remember all the times I talked to people here who have no idea about local flora/fauna or history,etc. Worst of all, the city's so big and modeled after everywhere else you can hardly get to the old Sonoran desert flavor that i remember from my childhood. Tucson's big but always feels like you're deep in the Southwest.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 8,868,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacto View Post
Wow, awesome that so many people replied and have such strong feelings about the SW, my favorite place on Earth. Personally, I don't think east of west Texas/El Paso could be called part of the SW. To me a great Southwest city has a decent mix of American, Mexican, and Indian culture while maintaining a connection to the awesome SW natural environment, be it desert or mountains. I've lived in Phoenix all my life and unfortunately it's at the bottom of my list. Phoenix has struggled to be LA #2 for so long that we lost our city's soul in the process. I can't remember all the times I talked to people here who have no idea about local flora/fauna or history,etc. Worst of all, the city's so big and modeled after everywhere else you can hardly get to the old Sonoran desert flavor that i remember from my childhood. Tucson's big but always feels like you're deep in the Southwest.
I appreciate your opinion. Often you do forget you are in the Sonoran desert in central Phoenix or the urban areas because it is so large and developed, but to say it has lost its soul is an overstatement. I think some of the sprawl around Phoenix is soulless, but the urban cores are rejuvenated and even my grandmother feels it is on the right track and she remembers the dense, walkable and crowded downtown streets of the 40's and 50's, just with a younger crowd of course. With the light rail running through downtown again, old family members remember that old bell from the Phoenix streetcars before the tracks were ripped out in the 50's...

To me, Tucson seems straddled with wanting to be a big city and wanting to have dirt roads and rocks around downtown. Fortunately, Phoenix has realized that to be a major city and to continue attracting world corporations like it has, that you must compete and offer similar "big city" amenities that one finds in competing metros. It has done it well with its unique and modern flavor and huge Hispanic and Native cultures (larger than any other SW city, percentage AND number wise). But it hasn't discarded other historic cultures and has incorporated its new friends and their amenities like the Germans (Stomptisch, Fests, Gardens), Irish (Cultural Festivals, Heritage Foundation, Cultural Center), Japanese (Ro Ho En Friendship Gardens, Business Foundations), Chinese (Cultural Center, Tech Center), British, etc etc...
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,036,932 times
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OK, I will concede if you've been living downtown then things have been getting better for years now, and yes there is a lot going on and things to do in phoenix. For a lot of the valley it's a different story. Circumstance has me living in south Tempe surrounded by generic apt. complexes and anytown u.s.a. corporate business parks. It can take a 30 minute drive just to take my son out to the nearest pristine desert, the Superstitions(which were way out of town not too long ago). I grew up in north Phoenix playing in the desert after school, I remember people riding horses just north of Moon Valley. I'm just nostalgic for the way the city used to be. Tucson reminds me of that.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 8,868,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacto View Post
OK, I will concede if you've been living downtown then things have been getting better for years now, and yes there is a lot going on and things to do in phoenix. For a lot of the valley it's a different story. Circumstance has me living in south Tempe surrounded by generic apt. complexes and anytown u.s.a. corporate business parks. It can take a 30 minute drive just to take my son out to the nearest pristine desert, the Superstitions(which were way out of town not too long ago). I grew up in north Phoenix playing in the desert after school, I remember people riding horses just north of Moon Valley. I'm just nostalgic for the way the city used to be. Tucson reminds me of that.
If you are in S. Tempe, just head over to the Papagos, South Mountain Park or the preserve; they are just a few minutes from anywhere in Tempe as that is a small dense city. Also, Mill Ave/University District/Town Lake are unique urban areas...

You really aren't that far from pristine desert, but you definitely are surrounded by more city than in Tucson which one can escape faster in ALL directions, I will concede that. However, that is the nature of a large metro area with millions and millions of people. Have you ever lived in NYC, Chicago, L.A. and tried to escape to the pristine natural habitats that once occupied much of the land in those areas? It is harder to escape than in Phoenix for sure.

Even smaller cities closer in size to Phoenix require quite an effort and drive to escape the urban and suburban confounds. All southwestern cities have sprawl, and the sprawl actually look like the housing developments that started in Phoenix first. To deny that is, well being in denial. Every metro area has a suburban cookie cutter sprawling mess aspect in the mix. Even San Francisco and Boston...

Last edited by fcorrales80; 12-17-2009 at 08:06 PM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA
2,685 posts, read 6,361,040 times
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Well, what are we including in the Southwest? The geographic southwest (which would include California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona)? Arizona and New Mexico alone (cultural Southwest)? Does this include ALL of Texas and Oklahoma, or only the western extremities of those states?

Southwestern United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'll limit myself to Arizona and New Mexico.

I really do think Phoenix gets a bad rap. I lived there in the early part of this decade, and I actually really enjoyed myself there. There's a lot of hiking in the area (South Mountain, Squaw Peak, etc.) and forms a good enough springboard to see the rest of Arizona. Sure, when I lived there it wasn't the most diverse place in the world, but I made some nice lifelong friends there.

Phoenix should be given time to grow with its population. I think its doing a sufficient enough job of doing that, and it will in time join the ranks of the great American cities. After all, how many places on the planet are built in the middle of the desert?
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
5,648 posts, read 7,451,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
Right, the ONE gay club on Central. Let's forget about Kobalt or the others and Maui, or Pandemonium, or Sanctum, or well you get the picture. You probably googled some clubs and listed the most popular two. I remember Crowbar from way back when as it is now Club Downtown and another in between CLUB DWNT and Miami is Palazzo. What you seem to keep jumping back and forth from is saying there is nothing but First Friday and pro sports downtown; an obvious error. You forget the artist scene and Latino/urban/upscale scene that are right next to each other and in different neighborhoods and locations downtown. Obviously you are very unfamiliar with Phoenix. And no, there is not more night life in downtown Tucson than Phoenix, that is an obvious over statement and completely ludicrous; almost comical.
Many of those places are NOT right in the heart of downtown Phoenix. I do not need to google anything as I stated, I've been going to clubs for years up there. If I HAD googled them, would I really have come up with Crowbar? It hasn't been there for years. There IS more nightlife within continuous walking distance in downtown Tucson than in downtown PHX. Where have YOU have frequented on Congress, 4th Ave, or University in Tucson and when was the last time you were there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
Right and you are trying to compare Tucson with Phoenix, or claim a MUCH smaller urban core (Tucson) and overall metro area has more to offer, more culture, more walkability, or more nightlife than a city that trumps other southwest cities by many times. One suburban spot, Scottsdale, has been called the South Beach of the desert by the New York Times and L.A. Times, and the scenes are only growing in each urban core. Nothing little Tucson can compete with in the four nightlife hot-spots of the Valley; Tempe, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Central Phoenix.
Again (please pay CLOSE attention), I never said that Tucson overall has more to offer. What I said was that the city for its size has just as much of a personality as Phoenix (the city) has for it's size...naturally Phoenix would have more amenities because it is much larger. That doesn't mean that Tucson doesn't have a personality. In addition, downtown Tucson DOES have more places within walking distance than downtown PHX does, and it has a continuous stretch of bars, clubs, and restaurants from Congress to 4th Avenue to University. I never denied that Scottsdale wasn't the "hot spot" in the Phoenix metro, I even said that you can drive to Scottsdale or drive to Tempe, but we were specifically talking about the downtowns of both Phoenix and Tucson, not Scottsdale and Tempe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
It never sat empty, at opening a "handful" of people moved into the 164 units in the 34 floor building. About a meager 24, LOL! Horrible...about 90 have been sold, but not occupied as of now and they hope to turn the additional units, with cooperation of owners of empty units into rentals. The lighted crown is on the new One Central Park East Tower and the crown of the CityScape tower hasn't been installed yet, just a small corner; get it right, LOL! Just kidding...Actually, in downtown Phoenix there are now limited parking lots, unlike Tucson where the main feature are four high-rises and HUGE lots that can be seen from skyline photos next to tacky colored ugly low rise buildings.
As of April 21, 2009, there were only 7 condos sold in all of 44 Monroe to people moving in (not investors). Yes, I know that Cityscape was only partially lit. The "partial" lighting went up on Dec 2nd. There are still plenty of open areas (parking lots) in downtown PHX.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
There are some small historic structures in downtown Tucson, but a few (Luhrs Tower, Central Building, and Security Building) of Phoenix' historic high-rises and mid-rises encompass more square footage than all of the historic buildings in downtown Tucson. There is a very small residential base in downtown Tucson; less than 1,000 people. 0.80 square miles in downtown Phoenix has over 14,000 people; not including the CBD, midtown, and uptown including the historic neighborhoods on either side of Central Ave to the North Central neighborhood.
Tucson has many buildings in its downtown that have either been renovated, or in the process of being renovated. That makes a HUGE difference in the streetscape. BTW, we're talking about downtown, so there is no reason to bring midtown or uptown Phoenix into the picture. Tucson definitely has more than 1,000 people living in its downtown. Phoenix's downtown neighborhood is considered to be 12.488 sq miles with a population of 47,256 (from McDowell to the North to I-17 to the south, and 24th st to the east to where I-17 meets I-10 to the west) which is huge. Tucson's downtown neighborhood is only considered to be .899 sq miles with a population of 1616. If you were to spread out Tucson's downtown neighborhood to the same size as Phoenix's (12.488 sq miles), it would more than likely encompass these and obviously more:

University of AZ Campus District - .606 sq miles - pop. 6895
Armory Park - .273 sq miles - pop. 1408
Fourth Ave - .169 sq miles - pop. 483
Barrio Viejo - .226 sq miles - pop. 687
Sam Hughes - 1.189 sq miles - pop. 4556
Menlo Park - 2.770 sq miles - pop. 5341
El Presidio - .331 sq miles - pop. 551
Congress St - .211 sq miles - pop. 703
South Tucson - 1.7 sq miles - pop. 4765


It's hard to gauge the population of the Central neighborhood which includes part of downtown Tucson because it shoots north and west and has 16.78 sq miles, but has a population of 77,523 and the Cragin-Keeling neighborhood which shoots north of downtown and is 3.53 sq miles with a population of 19,220.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
Same here in Phoenix; there are actually 4 large buildings that are or soon will be undergoing redevelopment. Others in downtown Phoenix have been fully restored or are already done or ongoing; The San Carlos Hotel, Westward Ho, Historic Federal Building, Circles Building, The Downtown Phoenix Public Market, Monroe School, Phoenix Union and on and on...too many to list and remember. I don't hate Tucson at all I just think that reality about each city should be incorporated into the conversation. To say that the other SW cities can compete with Phoenix are absurd; to say that cultural amenities are found more in other SW cities is more absurd.
Again, I never said that cultural amenities are found more in other SW cities. For the sake of keeping me from having to repeat this again, please don't misunderstand. What I said was that the city for its size has just as much of a personality as Phoenix (the city) has for it's size...naturally Phoenix would have more amenities because it is much larger. That doesn't mean that Tucson doesn't have a personality and doesn't lack in arts (literary, performing), culture, etc. Quite the contrary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
Tucson is what it is; a smaller city that Phoenix was in the 60's and 70's. Will it develop differently? Slightly, but I already see it emulating Phoenix. One thing both cities have done well compared to other metros, is to restrict unbridled freeway construction and growth. If you look at the few freeways in metro Phoenix serving a 4.3 million population, and compare it to Minneapolis, Denver, Houston, etc you will notice much more subdued construction of endless freeway; testament to Phoenix' relatively small urban footprint compared to other new, sprawling metros. Despite that, traffic in freeway remains manageable and transit use exploding. Phoenix is the fifth largest city and 12th largest metro area but has the 15th worst traffic...
Tucson is a Mid-sized city. I do believe Tucson will develop differently. It's already apparent with the infill in and around the University area and downtown. The NIMBYS are more of a nuisance here. Phoenix does have a smaller urban footprint than it gets credit for. We do, however, need a cross-town freeway, something voters in the past have voted down. I'd say we need that before Phoenix needs another freeway.

Lastly, just give Tucson a break. It's not Phoenix, never will be, never should be. It has a charm and beauty all its own.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 8,868,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZLiam View Post
Many of those places are NOT right in the heart of downtown Phoenix. I do not need to google anything as I stated, I've been going to clubs for years up there. If I HAD googled them, would I really have come up with Crowbar? It hasn't been there for years. There IS more nightlife within continuous walking distance in downtown Tucson than in downtown PHX. Where have YOU have frequented on Congress, 4th Ave, or University in Tucson and when was the last time you were there?
No, what I listed IS in downtown Phoenix, in the heart as you call it, of the city. There are more in the central gayborhoods and gay districts but those are just the downtown gay bars. I know, I am gay and live downtown. There is not more continuous nightlife in DOWNTOWN Tucson or Tucson, please list those clubs; not dive bars, but CLUBS...

Quote:
Again (please pay CLOSE attention), I never said that Tucson overall has more to offer. What I said was that the city for its size has just as much of a personality as Phoenix (the city) has for it's size...naturally Phoenix would have more amenities because it is much larger. That doesn't mean that Tucson doesn't have a personality. In addition, downtown Tucson DOES have more places within walking distance than downtown PHX does, and it has a continuous stretch of bars, clubs, and restaurants from Congress to 4th Avenue to University. I never denied that Scottsdale wasn't the "hot spot" in the Phoenix metro, I even said that you can drive to Scottsdale or drive to Tempe, but we were specifically talking about the downtowns of both Phoenix and Tucson, not Scottsdale and Tempe.
Uh huh,nice try; how about first you concede that in walkability and interconnectedness of the urban cores, Tucson can only dream. Bottom-line, you can get to all these urban centers from central Phoenix by walking and taking transit (train). I never said that Tucson doesn't have a "personality," I think you are taking criticisms about a city much smaller than Phoenix that obviously can't compete and taking it too hard. It is what it is; Tucson does not have the population or urban core to compete with Phoenix' urban amenities. There are roughly 540,000 people in Tucson, there are over 1,000,000 people in the central city area which is smaller than Tucson and encircle downtown. There is no comparison because of sheer size, height, and development scale in Phoenix. This is even more the case when you compare transit, streets, and density in Phoenix historically outweighed Tucson since the 1950's.

Quote:
Tucson has many buildings in its downtown that have either been renovated, or in the process of being renovated. That makes a HUGE difference in the streetscape. BTW, we're talking about downtown, so there is no reason to bring midtown or uptown Phoenix into the picture. Tucson definitely has more than 1,000 people living in its downtown. Phoenix's downtown neighborhood is considered to be 12.488 sq miles with a population of 47,256 (from McDowell to the North to I-17 to the south, and 24th st to the east to where I-17 meets I-10 to the west) which is huge. Tucson's downtown neighborhood is only considered to be .899 sq miles with a population of 1616. If you were to spread out Tucson's downtown neighborhood to the same size as Phoenix's (12.488 sq miles), it would more than likely encompass these and obviously more:
This area you've outline has a small population because it is the manufacturing, warehousing, and industrial complex of central Phoenix, LOL! All one has to do is drive the 17 to notice this. Especially between the Durango Curve in S. Phoenix all along the 17 up to north of Bethany Home Road. This industrial base and manufacturing zone also houses the largest rail yard in the west outside of L.A. How about you shift those boundaries around Metro Center or the midtown zip code of 85016; a small zip code in sq mileage with over 350,000 people...another nice try to report half truths.

University of AZ Campus District - .606 sq miles - pop. 6895 (If I did the same as you here, I would compare Tempe's University District with 120,000 people in 1.5 sq miles) but I'll be fair (dwnt PHX 14,787 not Copper Square)
Armory Park - .273 sq miles - pop. 1408 (Coronado 1 sq ml 10,560)
Fourth Ave - .169 sq miles - pop. 483 (One block in midtown 2,347)
Barrio Viejo - .226 sq miles - pop. 687 (Copper Square .45 sq ml - 2,140)
Sam Hughes - 1.189 sq miles - pop. 4556 (Arcadia 4 sq ml - 138,256)
Menlo Park - 2.770 sq miles - pop. 5341 (Alhambra 3.67 sq ml - 210,250)
El Presidio - .331 sq miles - pop. 551 (Willo 1 sq ml - 3,280)
Congress St - .211 sq miles - pop. 703 (Encanto Palmcroft - 1.2 sq ml 3,890)
South Tucson - 1.7 sq miles - pop. 4765 (South Central Phoenix 2 sq miles 110,205)

And these are just the central city neighborhoods closest to downtown that total 495,715 (that still leaves 1.2 million for the rest of the city with about 600,000 more of those living in an area smaller than Tucson). And remember, Tucson has a total population of approximately 540,000. Really, it is not even a fair comparison to Tucson; San Diego might have better luck against Phoenix, but I doubt that as well.

Even if you take overall density of the cities; Tucons with 540,000 and 194 sq miles, the population density is 2,647. Phoenix, with 515 sq miles (of which 250 are land that cannot be developed and set aside as municipal parks, preserves, and public trust land) the density STILL with all that land equals 2,937 from census data back in 2006...that has now risen over 3,200. sq mile from 2008 figures and estimates (Tucson still remails under 2,800/sq mile).


Quote:
It's hard to gauge the population of the Central neighborhood which includes part of downtown Tucson because it shoots north and west and has 16.78 sq miles, but has a population of 77,523 and the Cragin-Keeling neighborhood which shoots north of downtown and is 3.53 sq miles with a population of 19,220.
Read above, if we including areas this big in Phoenix we are flirting with populations in the hundreds of thousands...

Quote:
Again, I never said that cultural amenities are found more in other SW cities. For the sake of keeping me from having to repeat this again, please don't misunderstand. What I said was that the city for its size has just as much of a personality as Phoenix (the city) has for it's size...naturally Phoenix would have more amenities because it is much larger. That doesn't mean that Tucson doesn't have a personality and doesn't lack in arts (literary, performing), culture, etc. Quite the contrary.
I agree, I think you took some of my statements as bashing, but it was just reality based statements. Tucson cannot compete with Phoenix, but that doesn't make it irrelevant. Personally, I do not like Tucson and find it lacking, but that is only because Phoenix offers way more in a smaller section of city.

Quote:
Tucson is a Mid-sized city. I do believe Tucson will develop differently. It's already apparent with the infill in and around the University area and downtown. The NIMBYS are more of a nuisance here. Phoenix does have a smaller urban footprint than it gets credit for. We do, however, need a cross-town freeway, something voters in the past have voted down. I'd say we need that before Phoenix needs another freeway.
I agree here, but Tucson doesn't have more infill nor more urban amenities even by percentage of land.

Quote:
Lastly, just give Tucson a break. It's not Phoenix, never will be, never should be. It has a charm and beauty all its own.
I have given Tucson a break, the mountains around Tucson are pretty to the north. And the scenery far SE of the city is gorgeous, not a fan of the cityscape thought...

Last edited by fcorrales80; 12-17-2009 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:13 AM
 
494 posts, read 911,812 times
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fcoralles80,

You're coming off like someone with a chip on their shoulder. I will say downtown Phoenix has improved markedly in the past few years, and the new light rail is great. The rest of your Phoenix boisterism seems filled to the brim with delusion.

Phoenix is a metro of ~ 5 million with a core downtown area that isn't really any more developed or walkable than Tuscon or Albuquerque (both with metro pops of around 1 million). I find both Tuscon and Albuquerque to be more interesting, urban, natural, and pretty cities than Phoenix. A lot of people agree. Phoenix is just so vast, new, corporate, and disconnected.

I'm not trying to put down Phoenix - the SW needs to improve as a region, and Phoenix is by far the biggest city in the SW. Phoenix has beautiful scenery, great cultural amenities etc etc, but it really has to find a way to reverse its patterns of sprawl development to build more sustainably. That process may have started in Phoenix, but the city is still in a precarious situation from the view of natural resources, economic recovery, etc.

Anyhow, my favorite cities in the SW:

Tuscon, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 8,868,377 times
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burquebinder View Post
fcoralles80,

You're coming off like someone with a chip on their shoulder. I will say downtown Phoenix has improved markedly in the past few years, and the new light rail is great. The rest of your Phoenix boisterism seems filled to the brim with delusion.
The only "brim with delusion" I read are those that think that Albuquerque and Tucson have more walkable and urban neighborhoods than Phoenix. Don't have a chip on my shoulder, just citing census bureau facts and statistics and actual population densities. Something that you are just trying to ride off with ad hominem useless rhetoric.

Quote:
Phoenix is a metro of ~ 5 million with a core downtown area that isn't really any more developed or walkable than Tuscon or Albuquerque (both with metro pops of around 1 million). I find both Tuscon and Albuquerque to be more interesting, urban, natural, and pretty cities than Phoenix. A lot of people agree. Phoenix is just so vast, new, corporate, and disconnected.
Phoenix is a metro area of 4.3 million people and with an urban and downtown core many times more populous and developed than Tucson or Albuquerque combined; just add up the sq footage of office space, residents, etc in those downtowns compared to Phoenix...I don't find Tucson of Albuquerque with more nature beauty, urban interests, or beauty (cityscape) compared to Phoenix.

Those cities are far more blighted and dusty with larger impoverished areas than Phoenix; just look up census data figures on that and violence including gangs. You'll notice that both Tucson and Albuquerque have higher rates of crime. Just google some pictures of the cities and I'm sure many will agree that the natural landscapes surround Phoenix and Tucson are similar and that the flatness and blandness of Albuquerque (save the ranges to the N, NW, etc) is rather unappealing.

Quote:
I'm not trying to put down Phoenix - the SW needs to improve as a region, and Phoenix is by far the biggest city in the SW. Phoenix has beautiful scenery, great cultural amenities etc etc, but it really has to find a way to reverse its patterns of sprawl development to build more sustainably. That process may have started in Phoenix, but the city is still in a precarious situation from the view of natural resources, economic recovery, etc.
You'll also be surprised to know that the sprawl problem and lack of urban density is of far more concern in both Tucson and Albuquerque; again, very easy to look up population densities and urban footprints in which Phoenix' is relatively small EVEN compared to the very low population centers like Tucson and Albuquerque...
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
3,995 posts, read 8,868,377 times
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Just some Photos to compare and a youtube video of the Phoenix light rail traversing Midtown Phoenix on its way to downtown. Sorry, my pictures of Phoenix are old, about 5 years and lack the new high-rises constructed during those years. I will be hiking this weekend mountains around Phoenix and will take new photos and post them :

Tucson:



Albuquerque:



Phoenix:





You tube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1u_JcxcRVw
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