What Lies Ahead for Las Vegas

This article looks at what the end of sprawl will mean for Las Vegas.
March 3, 2009, 10am PST | Nate Berg
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"Construction and real estate, Southern Nevada's second most important industry, have crashed, and there likely will be little building here for several years."

"Now economists and urban planning experts are beginning to consider how the crash will reshape in innumerable ways Southern Nevada's physical landscape and the way we live - some frightening, but also some hopeful."

"Start with the bad: All those half-empty neighborhoods on the edge of town become exurban ghettoes. These neighborhoods share the worst aspects of suburban life, specifically long commutes, big gasoline bills and the absence of urban amenities, while not offering some of the traditional benefits of suburbs such as big yards - the houses in many of the neighborhoods are packed closer together."

"Urban planners say suburbanism is dying, evidenced by the shift during the past 15 years or so of real estate value from suburbs to urban cores. Younger people especially have been drawn to urbanism, be it in big cities or mixed-use villages."

"As urban areas continue to grow, exurban developments offer untenable commutes and gasoline bills. These new developments soon won't be new and will have to undergo expensive maintenance of sewers, roads and other utilities and infrastructure."

"In other words, Las Vegas got lucky. The crash has ended the sprawl, and just in time."

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Published on Monday, March 2, 2009 in Las Vegas Sun
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