Desert Cities: The Environmental History of Phoenix and Tucson (2006)

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Logan, Michael. Desert Cities

Logan, Michael. Desert Cities: The Environmental History of Phoenix and Tucson. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.

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? Michael Logan examines the environmental circumstances that led to the starkly divergent growth and traces this significant imbalance to two main factors: water resources and cultural differences. 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. (Text adapted from University of Pittsburgh Press website.)

Read the book in full on the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions.