A few times recently I have seen/heard Phoenix Urbanites disparage outside cities in derogatory terms using “sprawl” as their verbal assault of choice. Oddly the facts, don’t line up with their dogma.
Let’s look at total population, population density (people per sq mile), incorporation date and average household income.
It’s amazing that Chandler, AZ looks more like Portland, OR than Phoenix, AZ does by the numbers.
I suspect that Phoenix people harping on density and urban infill while casting stones at other communities would know that in fact the City of Phoenix has been the biggest culprit of unabated sprawl over the last 50 years. Having by far the lowest population density track record. It likes to claim superiority by being the capital and being here “first” and that these other cities popped up over night and ruined the world with “sprawl”, but in reality it is younger than Mesa and relatively close in age to the others.
I do believe that all these cities have a sprawl problem (which I am against). I am just setting the record straight that Phoenix is the biggest violator.
I lived in Phoenix (the city) for 24 years and have lived in the East Valley for the past 10 years. I worked in downtown Phoenix for 8 years and downtown Tempe for 4 years. Two of my children were born in downtown Phoenix and one in Chandler. I love both the city and the metro, but it’s time that we start having real discussion and stop just regurgitating the rhetoric the uninformed feed us or we will be doomed to be in crisis for another decade or more.
Disclaimer: My goal is to position Chandler is the linchpin of the Sun Corridor by 2020. Rising tides raise all ships and by definition this does not make me “against” Phoenix.