This book studies both the tangible benefits and substantial barriers to sustainable development in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Utilizing mixed research methods to probe downtown Phoenix's political economy of development, this study illustrates how non-local property ownership and land speculation negatively impacted a concerted public-private effort to encourage infill construction on vacant land. The book elaborates urban sustainability not only as a set of ecological and design prescriptions, but as a field needing increased engagement with the growth-based impetus, structural economic forces, and political details behind American urban land policy. Demonstrating how land use policies evolved in relation to Phoenix's historical dependence on outside investment, and are now interwoven across jurisdictional scales, the book concludes by identifying policy intervention points to increase the sustainability of Phoenix's development trajectory.
Benjamin W. Stanley is Instructor at Arizona State University's School of Sustainability and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change. His interdisciplinary research interests are split between urban sustainability, the contemporary political economy of land development, and comparative urban history.
1. Theories of Urban Growth, Sustainability, and Transparent Development.- 2. The Speculative Growth Paradigm in the History of Phoenix.- 3. A History of Property Development and Ownership in Downtown Phoenix.- 4. The Political Economy of Land Speculation in Downtown Phoenix.- 5. Policy Approaches to Transparent Urban Development in Phoenix.