The New York Times recently published this interesting piece about Culdesac and the completely car-free community that they are building just east of Phoenix in Tempe, Arizona (a place that is not generally known for its walkability). Culdesac calls itself the first “post-car real estate developer in the United States.” And so their Culdesac Tempe project has been designed to house 1,000 residents and exactly 0 cars.
When the first phase is completed next year, residents will be restricted from having a car within the community and they’ll also be restricted from parking on any nearby streets. (This second stipulation was done to assuage concerns that a zero parking community would create a spillover effect in the surrounding area.) Instead, residents of Culdesac Tempe will rely on their local amenities, as well as on transit (it’s on a light rail line), biking, ride-sharing, and other forms of urban mobility.
While this may seem kind of crazy for sprawling Arizona, the company’s thesis is both clear and clever. The future of American cities needs to be the kind of walkable urbanism that you find in places like the northeast. But at the same time, the fastest growing cities in the United States are generally in the Sun Belt. What they are doing is building walkable urbanism in the places where people clearly want to live.