Turquoise swimming pools when seen from above shimmer like a squash blossom necklace on a jet setter’s tanned breast. Imported palm trees tower over a surrendering army of native saguaros, while skyscraper mirages of steel and glass gleam in the distance. This western metropolis pushes out more than up though, sprawling over 450 square miles.
With the sixth largest population in the U.S., the Valley of the Sun attracts all kinds: retirees golfing their way into oblivion, snowbirds fleeing subzero winters, young construction workers cashing in on frenzied economic growth.
Shopping malls, parking lots, concrete clover leafs, subdivisions, and apartments relentlessly eat away at the mesquite and ironwood at the rate of “an acre an hour.”