For a new apartment complex in Tempe, Arizona, the motivation driving renters is not to drive at all.
Culdesac Tempe, a complex that will have around 700 apartment homes, is breaking ground in more ways than one. It’s “the first car-free neighborhood built from scratch in the U.S.” and aims to be a mecca for people ready to live car-free, Bloomberg reported.
The startup, founded by Ryan Johnson and Jeff Berens, aims to show that living without a car is possible, even somewhere as hot as Arizona. One way to manage heat is to limit exposure to it, which is why the complex will have everything the residents need on the premises.
Culdesac will offer a coffee shop, grocery store, restaurant, and various retailers. Further, the buildings — or “pods,” as they are called — are designed to keep residents cool.
Anders Engnell, Culdesac’s director of planning and construction, told Bloomberg, “When you take parking out of the equation, you’re able to design for people first. … We expect the pods to create a bit of a microclimate.” He explained that the white stucco reflects heat while the narrow pathways between buildings create shade and breezes.
In place of a parking lot for cars, the complex provides plenty of bike parking, free flat-tire repairs, a free monthly pass with unlimited rides on the light rail and bus systems, discounts with Lyft and Bird scooters, and access to on-site electric cars for rent.
With its community design, Culdesac makes it easier for people to give up their cars. Every car off the road means a reduction in contributions to the pollution blanket overheating the planet.
“There’s going to be millions of walkable homes built in the coming years,” Johnson said. “Culdesac wants to be a meaningful portion of that.”
“There’s lots of fantastic places for people to live who want to have a private car,” Berens added. “This is meant to offer a new option.”
“The idea of a car-free neighborhood is just really interesting, and I wanted to meet more like-minded people,” Alex Chang, a founding resident of Culdesac Tempe, told Fox10 Phoenix. “I’m a big believer in sustainability. That’s what attracted me to the site.”
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