New housing construction in Phoenix: Evidence of “new suburbanism”?
Stereotypical images of suburbs as homogeneous, residential neighborhoods comprised of single-family houses on individual lots have become synonymous with sprawl. Discourses on smart growth, new urbanism, and sustainability promote increasing residential density because housing is such a large part of the built environment. Recent literature has emphasized the potential for denser residential development at the urban fringe…Analysis of new housing completions between 1990 and 2005 in rapidly-growing metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, examined changes in the form and location of new housing constructed in 2000–2005 compared to the prior decade, to identify patterns of densification. Features included rapid decentralization of multiple-family home construction, and the emergence of a wide range of multiple-family housing forms at the fringe, including large apartment complexes in accessible freeway locations, high-end condominium developments in high-amenity areas, and subsidized apartments in less-prestigious areas. Densification no longer equates to urban infill, but takes many forms and occurs all over the metropolitan region, especially the urban fringe where “new suburbanism” may be emerging in response to the “sustainability turn” in contemporary planning.