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Desert Cities: The Environmental History of Phoenix and Tucson (Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ) Hardcover – October 28, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

”Meticulously documents the causes of the growth disparity between Tucson and Phoenix. More than a scholarly text, ‘Desert Cities’ is relevant, provocative and highly recommended.“
--Tucson Citizen


"Those interested in a succinct histrory of Arizona's chief metropolitans, emphasizing the influence of the environment should enjoy this work."
--Journal of the West



“A broad and important study that adds to a growing literature that stresses the need to continue to think and write about the environmental histories of cities. This book points the way for countless more detailed studies.”
—Western Historical Quarterly

From the Back Cover

Phoenix is known as the “Valley of the Sun,” while Tucson is referred to as “The Old Pueblo.” These nicknames epitomize the difference in the public’s perception of each city. Phoenix continues to sprawl as one of America’s largest and fastest-growing cities. Tucson has witnessed a slower rate of growth, and has only one quarter of Phoenix’s population. This was not always the case. Prior to 1920, Tucson had a larger population. How did two cities, with such close physical proximity and similar natural environments develop so differently?

Desert Cities examines the environmental circumstances that led to the starkly divergent growth of these two cities. Michael Logan traces this significant imbalance to two main factors: water resources and cultural differences. Both cities began as agricultural communities. Phoenix had the advantage of a larger water supply, the Salt River, which has four and one half times the volume of Tucson’s Santa Cruz River. Because Phoenix had a larger river, it received federal assistance in the early twentieth century for the Salt River project, which provided water storage facilities. Tucson received no federal aid. Moreover, a significant cultural difference existed. Tucson, though it became a U.S. possession in 1853, always had a sizable Hispanic population. Phoenix was settled in the 1870s by Anglo pioneers who brought their visions of landscape development and commerce with them.

By examining the factors of watershed, culture, ethnicity, terrain, political favoritism, economic development, and history, Desert Cities offers a comprehensive evaluation that illuminates the causes of growth disparity in two major southwestern cities and provides a model for the study of bi-city resource competition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (October 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822942941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822942948
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to have a very readable and concise history of the environment and the development of the two big cities of Arizona. A good mix of sociology, history, geography, and politics and overall big picture of how they all played a role in the development of Arizona's growth. Great resource for college term papers, or graduate level research, and also good for the layperson who is interested in this subject matter.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating history of conflict over development and unfettered growth post-war, then in the 70s-80s boom. Very good detail makes the stories of two very different cities come alive.
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By Donna K. on October 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Well written and seems to be well researched. I really enjoyed the contrast and comparisons of the two major Arizona cities.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Informative book, but a dry and difficult read.
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