[Source: Morrison Institute, Arizona State University] — Arizona is one of the nation’s most urban states, and now it includes one of 20 “megapolitan” areas in the U.S. People have predicted for 50 years that Phoenix and Tucson would grow together into a giant desert conglomerate — a possibility that has been seen as exciting, intriguing, and distressing. While a solid city is unlikely given the diverse land ownership in central and southern Arizona, it is true that the two metro economies are merging.
Morrison Institute’s new report “Megapolitan: Arizona’s Sun Corridor,” one of the first reports in the U.S. on a single megapolitan area, recognizes a more sophisticated technique for analyzing urban growth — that shared economic and quality of life interests are more important than physically growing together. The report offers a bold potential picture of Arizona’s urban geography, its future opportunities, and “megaton” challenges. Just released and available online, it presents a scenario for 2035 based on some current trends. It analyzes the Sun Corridor and provides insights into the region’s global potential, water, governance, sustainability, and “trillion dollar questions.” It discusses the “tragedy of the sunshine” and asks the provocative question: In 2035, will you want to live in the Sun Corridor?