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Phoenix: Parking lot city

I've read that some 43 percent of the city of Phoenix alone is empty land. It would be interesting to know how much of the city is surface parking lots.

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2 comments on this story

Nov 22, 2012, 5:38 am
-1 +2

Getting a handle on Phoenix’s urban sprawl and seemingly endless asphalt would be pointless without getting a handle on the average Phoenician’s ridiculous insistence on high-water usage landscaping. You see plants and lawns that have no business in the desert all over the place and the closest concession to the desert one is likely to find up there are ridiculous (and ridiculously ugly) non-native palm trees. Smashing. Well done, Phoenix.

Come on, now; how can anybody read this article and take it seriously when its writer is bemoaning the loss of landscaping that uses non-local plants and requires an obscenely wasteful amount of water to maintain in a harsh, dry, desert climate? Those palo verdes and “dirt,” as you put it, are FAR more authentic than grass in the desert. You laughably sneer at native flora, questioning its authenticity while waxing nostalgic over the truly inauthentic grass it replaced. That just doesn’t fly.  Xeriscaping doesn’t have to be ugly and barren; if anything, it can be quite elegant and lush. And it certainly isn’t “authentic,” in sarcastic quotes. It’s authentic. Full stop.

Palo verdes, cactus, scrub, and, yes, even dirt, are the real Phoenix. Not shade trees. Not grass. How can you ever hope to make others appreciate your hometown when you yourself don’t? How can you convince Phoenicians stop this self-destructive and indiscriminate paving while you’re calling for equally self-destructive and wasteful landscaping practices?

Nov 22, 2012, 8:51 am
-3 +1

To the last poster…this is absolutely nothing wrong with any effort to take a dry, desolate desert and making it bloom with grass, trees that don’t look like they’re dying, etc.

As to the piece itself…Phoenix has done a FAR better job than Tucson when it comes to “urban sprawl”. Even if Phoenix did have poor planning, that’s much better than Tucson who had no planning at all. Tucson’s “plan” was “if we don’t build it, they won’t come”...but they came anyway, and now the plan is to just steal as much money from the taxpayers as they possibly can, to punish them for living here or something.

Look, here’s the simple reality, and regardless of whether you like this or not, it’s the truth…

People drive cars. People are going to keep on driving cars. And, relevant to this story (and the U of A needs to read this next part, too), when people get out of their cars to, you know, spend money and make this a better place to live, they need a place to keep their cars. Putting your head in the sand does not make this reality disappear.

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