Welcome to Culdesac, the first car-free neighbourhood in the USA. The 17-acre development, once a car body shop and derelict buildings, has redefined the American living experience. As the sun-drenched desert city of Phoenix bakes in the harsh climate, Culdesac is an experiment that invites residents to experience life without cars, promoting a walkable, human-scale community that is a rarity in the USA.
With its first 36 residents moving in earlier this year and plans to accommodate around 1,000 people when the 760 units are completed by 2025, Culdesac stands out in a nation where car ownership is a norm.
Residents here have no parking for cars, and the community is designed to encourage a walkable lifestyle, offering amenities like grocery stores, restaurants and yoga studios within the neighbourhood.
In many US cities, neighbourhoods that emphasize walkability exist but often come with a steep price tag due to their allure and resistance to new apartment developments. The $170 million Culdesac project, led by co-founders Ryan Johnson and Jeff Berens, demonstrates that walkable neighbourhoods can be built successfully in the US. during the 2020s.
Their inspiration? European cities and Mediterranean-inspired architecture, with buildings clustered closely together to create inviting courtyards and pedestrian pathways. This design encourages social interaction and offers relief from the desert’s scorching sun. As temperatures soar outside, the shaded paseos remain comfortable, providing a stark contrast to the blistering pavement common in many American communities.
While Culdesac is a rarity in the United States, its success suggests the potential for a shift in American urban living, promoting a more interconnected and environmentally friendly approach.
Another green dream…."shared space", i.e. you'll own nothing, and you'd better act happy about it. If people want to give it a try, fine, but you can be sure this will go from voluntary to coerced, or even forced.— Pierre L. Gosselin (@NoTricksZone) November 5, 2023