The Lessons Phoenix Can Teach Other Cities About Sustainable Development

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The Lessons Phoenix Can Teach Other Cities About Sustainable Development
The Central Arizona Project (CAP) is designed to bring approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually to Pima, Pinal, and Maricopa Counties / © Tim Roberts Photography

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The Lessons Phoenix Can Teach Other Cities About Sustainable Development
The Central Arizona Project (CAP) is designed to bring approximately 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually to Pima, Pinal, and Maricopa Counties / © Tim Roberts Photography

A new book suggests the desert metropolis has been getting a bad rap, and has lessons to offer other cities

Grady Gammage isn’t happy with the way people talk about his city. A land use lawyer and senior scholar at Arizona State University, Gammage believes the stereotypes about Phoenix, that it’s a sprawling city without rules that wastes resources, just aren’t true. His new book, The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons From Sustaining Phoenix, challenges the idea that this is a city in the middle of the desert that shouldn’t exist. Rather, the fast-growing city’s evolution, originally based on autos, air conditioning and air travel, has lessons that apply to other large metro areas.

“I used suburban city in the title because it’s a pejorative term,” he says. “I’m OK with that, since I want readers to understand they shouldn’t think of it as a pejorative term. It’s just a different type of city.” […]

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