Residential development during the Great Recession: A shifting focus in Phoenix, Arizona

Kevin Kane, Abigail York, Joseph Tuccillo, Lauren E. Gentile, Yun Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Where people choose to live and the type of city their decisions create has formed the basis of decades of scholarly endeavor. While the typical notion of a tradeoff between access and space remains important, residential choice is more than ever shaped by the dynamics of sprawl, polycentricity, land-use institutions (zoning), and the composition of the immediately surrounding area. We analyze these new dynamics with a logistic regression model of the determinants of single-family residential development at the parcel-level in Phoenix, Arizona, during the 2002-2006 real estate boom and the 2006-2012 crash and global recession. Results show a preference for cheaper land and agricultural conversion farther from urban subcenters during the boom, while zoning, though relatively inconsistent with actual land use, is an indicator of future development. Development trajectories change dramatically during the bust, disproportionately impacting agricultural conversions and previously fast-growing areas while highlighting the depth of impact that the financial environment has on land-use change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-507
Number of pages22
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 19 2014


  • land-use policy
  • recession
  • residential location
  • urban sprawl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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