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MJLO

Gilbert

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Downtown Gilbert to get a major development

I thought this was good, I like Gilbert I know it's an "outer ring suburb" but I think it's been one of the most responsibly planned communities in the Phoenix area. A few months back we had a small thread on New Urbanist communities in the Valley, and the more I searched the more I found these going up all over. In general, the structures in Gilbert don't go very high, however, the houses are always tightly put together, and yards very small. It seems to me that Gilbert is doing what it can to grow responsibly, and now the downtown area is getting a building with " retail on the ground floor". I love it.

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You have to take that term lightly in Phoenix, possibly the sprawl capital of the world.

Gilbert does seem to have a higher-than-average proliferation of New Urbanist ideals and I do love how they've kept the Downtown more or less in tact from what it was, as opposed to Chandler who actually moved (literally, on the back of trucks) the lower income homes out to make way for the money.

I don't know that height could work for Downtown Gilbert though. I mean, it's certainly better than another "Town Center" glorified strip mall concept but, as you mentioned, it's exurb, and it's hard to get people to climb stairs (or even use elevators) in exurbs.

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I wouldn't call Phoenix the sprawl capitol. I'm pretty sure Atlanta sits atop that throne, with Metro Detroit nipping at it's heels. But Gilbert has kept a few things in tact, while managing it's resources. That's responsible leadership to me. It sounds comical what they did in Chandler.

One thing I don't understand is the concept of " unincorporated Islands within the city. Where I come from, if boundary lines are drawn. Everything within those lines are part of the city. But as I look at my Phoenix map, there are pockets of county white, Inside the Blue that represents Gilbert, and there are also some in Mesa as well.

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there are lots of things i don't know, but one thing i'm certain of is that atlanta is not the sprawl problem that phoenix is. i don't know if you've been to atlanta and came away with that impression, or are merely trying to say whatever it takes to get people to post, but it just doesn't cover the ground that phoenix does. phoenix has 2,782 people per square mile; atlanta has 3,161. phoenix covers 475 square miles; atlanta covers 132.

atlanta (under 'demographics'): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta%2C_Georgia

phoenix (under 'demographics'): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix%2C_Arizona

the atlanta metro has 562 people per square mile; the phoenix metro has 255.

atlanta: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_metropolitan_area

phoenix: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Metropolitan_Area

any repeat visitor to either city (or just to phoenix, really) could not possibly get the impression that phoenix is surpassed by many cities in terms of sprawl. it utterly lacks density, even to its core. i am happy to see that is changing.

atlanta does have an artificially low metro density because of its inability to annex as much land as phoenix has done - but that also means that when you're in the city of atlanta, you actually feel like you're in a city. it looks like you're in a city. there are only about 500,000 people living in that city, because the city proper is so small. it's relatively dense, too - not LA or NYC or SF dense, but denser than sunbelt sprawl 'cities' in arizona.

land area:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unite..._cities_by_area

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It's much easier for a municipality to annex unpopulated land than that which is already developed. I know what you're talking about in Gilbert, and it does seem to exist across the whole valley. I think they just went and annexed huge tracts of land (Python reference?) and deliberately skipped around the developed parts with the intention to grab them later. The main worry is for another city to come in and grab the land, which won't happen in these "islands", unless, of course, they incorporate, which seems unlikely in this state.

Atlanta is pretty bad. I hate how, in the suburbs, they have miles of nothing and then, out of no where, a huge development. And it's not even a deliberate open space allotment like in San Diego. Houston is also awful for sprawl.

I'll offer the example of Chandler Heights, an unincorporated, relatively old community south of Chandler and west of Queen Creek: no one has annexed it yet, including its northern namesake. Why? Potential opposition from residents and the lack of a threat from surrounding communities (the 'res is to the south).

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I think they just went and annexed huge tracts of land (Python reference?)

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Did you know that the city of Mesa, has more people and less land area than Atlanta?

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Ok you can credit all of this to wikipedia.

Valley/Arizona cities by Density in Square Mileage

Gilbert: 4027 Mesa: 3536

Tempe: 4067 Scottsdale: 1027

Tucson: 2647 Glendale:4290

Phoenix: 3067 Chandler: 4202

Cities across the country

ATL : 3161 Detroit: 6856

LA : 8198 Grand Rapids : 4434

NYC : 26720 Boston: 11543

CHI : 12604 San Francisco: 15834

Des Moines: 2621

Houston: 3480

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lots of cities are bigger than atlanta. i know what you're saying, matt, about phoenix and planned growth vs. pockets of development and fallow areas outside ATL. there are two atlantas in that sense, inside the loop and outside. the iniside portion is the one i love. and i prefer a degree of unplanned growth to planned growth, at least in terms of the physical footprint it leaves on the ground. one of the things i love about many cities back east (and wish i could transplant onto the newer cities out west) is their sporadic, medieval, organic manner of growing. grids don't happen in many cities in the east until you get outside the historic core of the town...we all know what the great exception to that is, though.

anyway, i like the confused footprint that older, unplanned cities have...the only planning i wish we had out here was land-use planning; not land design plannning. grids are boring, especially when they fill up the inside perimiter of a city and then just stop. how you guys think that is a good thing....i don't get.

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I find the confused street pattern of older urban cores charming, but the grid system was developed in response to the sort haphazard (and, more often, outright lack of) urban planning that existed there. It aids in navigation and helps traffic flow better. Basically, a city built around the car. I think it's also due to general human tendency toward symmetry and patterns.

I don't really like either. I like Singapore's planning or, on a lesser scale, San Diego's: pockets of high density with residential, retail and commercial developments separated by parks and open space, and connected by major transportation corridors. The majority of the residents live outside of the urban core and have to commute, but it's not really what you would consider sprawl since everything is planned. Sprawl occurs when the powers-that-be have the "any growth is good" attitude, although that seems to be changing even in Phoenix now.

But, I think smart growth for Gilbert would be simple allotment of open space. I can't stress how important I think that is in the desert, especially when you consider the issues we have here with wildlife corridors and urban heat islands, both of which can be alleviated with the simple setting aside of a little land.

Just a thought though.

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the grid system was developed in response to the sort haphazard (and, more often, outright lack of) urban planning that existed there. It aids in navigation and helps traffic flow better. Basically, a city built around the car. I think it's also due to general human tendency toward symmetry and patterns.

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Ok now Gilberts talking about jumping on the healthcare bandwagon.

City went from having no hospitals to 3. City officials are wondering if health care could be the main industry in town. I guess it's possible but it seems like, they are getting in line a little late. It still seems weird to me that the hospitals here are so small. These are like neighborhood hospitals, the largest being The one that Banner is building at the 60/Higley. I would think that if they wanted this to be the industry, they'd have to build bigger more advanced centers.

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It seems like health care is always the largest employer in a city when they're just a bedroom community. Since hospitals collectively employ so many but must be localized, it just seems to naturally gravitate toward that.

I don't know that Gilbert will ever become some sort of medical mecca though.

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San Tan Freeway brings unwanted growth to some.

With the SanTan freeway opening Commericial density and growth is exploding In Gilbert. Some residents are concerned that the sleepy rural area is going to away. I got news for them. They are a little to late on that one

I can't even Imagine what the area around the San Tan will look like in five years.

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Some residents are concerned that the sleepy rural area is going to away. I got news for them. They are a little to late on that one

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I know there was a recent article about the resale value of homes in Scottsdale dropped about 6%. I think that particular article is talking about sales in general, as it seems to reference both new homes and the resale value.

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New bus route reaches Gilbert

Route 156, which currently runs "along Chandler Boulevard from Desert Foothills Parkway in Ahwatukee to the Gilbert boarder at Gilbert Road", will be extended to Power Road beginning July 23rd.

This route would have shaved 15 minutes and two transfers off of a bus commute for me. I'm surprised it has taken this long for Williams Gateway Airport to get a bus stop.

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This route would have shaved 15 minutes and two transfers off of a bus commute for me. I'm surprised it has taken this long for Williams Gateway Airport to get a bus stop.

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Oh, and I realize that the tagline of this thread is actually wrong. Gilbert is the largest community in the country to call itself a "town". Not sure how long it will last though.

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Support grows for environmental advisory board

Now, Abbott and Presmyk are leading the charge for a new town advisory board that would educate the public about Gilbert's environmental programs, as well as mold municipal policy to make the town more environmentally friendly.

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So what is it, other than a huge, sprawling church complex? It would be nice if it had restaurants, shopping, parks, and office and residentlial buildings. Maybe even a monorail linking everything together. :)

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