If you’re into cars and trucks and move to this neighborhood, you better sell your vehicles quick. Sounding a bit like 1984, “Culdesac Tempe” is a car-free housing development. Residents are not allowed to drive or even park vehicles here. It’s billed as the place to be in a “car-free lifestyle.” It’s the first of its kind in the US.
So what are you supposed to do to get out of there? There will be a light rail station in close proximity, plus there are the familiar scooters, bikes, and ridesharing. The site will house around 1,000 people in 636 multi-family units. It’s spread out over 16 acres.
First post-vehicles development
There will be 24,000-square-feet of retail including a food hall, grocery store, and coffee shop. “Transportation has changed a lot over the last decade and real estate hasn’t kept up,” says Ryan Johnson, founder, and CEO of Culdesac. He told the Wall Street Journal, “Now there’s a chance for us to build the first post-car development.”
Because there are no roads and areas for parking-including garages, the surroundings take on a different look and function. “Half of the land area will be covered in landscaping, public courtyards, and greenery,” says Johnson. He says this is three times the amount of space given to these features.
Who needs extra bedrooms in Arizona?
Most of the units will consist of only a single bedroom. There will be private guest suites for visitors. This way the burden of a rarely-used extra bedroom is eliminated he says.
It should be noted that Tempe is a mostly college town where Arizona State University is located. So, the median age is under 30, and mostly single. If Culdesac is within walking distance we could partially see the attraction. But, having a car means having the convenience of getting away or traveling distances without giving much thought to it.
With this setup, the area will quickly take on a sameness since it’s all you’ll be seeing. Johnson says, “Ultimately, our goal is to build the first car-free city in the United States. The goal is to create a city where everyone can access jobs and amenities without feeling like they need to own a car. Some people may still choose to own a car but the structure of the city would be set up to enable a car-free lifestyle.”
This part of Arizona is the fastest growing in the US
Tempe is located in Maricopa County, which is the fastest-growing county in the US for over three years. Tempe’s population is expected to double by 2040. Part of Tempe’s plan is to link the city to Phoenix airport by light rail, add 200 miles of bike lanes, provide dockless scooters, free neighborhood busses, and a street-car network all within the next two years.
So, if a car-free society sounds like your slice of nirvana you might want to check out Culdesac. But not by car…