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Totally car-free neighborhood planned in Arizona. Is your state next?

Culdesac is building a neighborhood from scratch without cars, emphasizing shared scooters, bikes and foot traffic instead.

Culdesac rendering
Tempe's neighborhood should look something like this.

Following World War II, one machine ruled city planning and our way of life: the automobile. Cities were designed and built around roadways and the interstate system would change the way we drove our cars near and far.

That is an archaic way of thinking, if real estate developer Culdesac may say so. In fact, it does say so and thinks the world is ready for neighborhoods that don't focus on four-wheeled machines. Last Tuesday, the company announced it has broken ground on a radical new neighborhood development in Tempe, Arizona, where there isn't room for a single car.

If you want to visit a friend in the neighborhood, grab your shoes or a shared bicycle, scooter or other option. Need to go further outside the neighborhood? There will be an area reserved for ride hailing and a lot for car sharing where residents can rent something. This is, to the vast majority of Americans, a totally different approach to the standard-issue neighborhood.

Culdesac Tempe will be home to 1,000 residents and promises to include restaurants, shopping centers and plenty of green space. The announcement itself boasts about opening the front door to see "leafy shared courtyards" and not city streets with vehicles zipping by.

Without needing space for roads, Culdesac boasted that well over half of the neighborhood's land area will be filled with landscaping, courtyards and other shared spaces. Even the houses will take a new approach and ditch the idea of a "guest room." The company said there will instead be "bookable guest suites" throughout the neighborhood for when residents know friends or family is coming to visit.

While this grand vision sounds like it's years away, that's not the case. Culdesac said this first neighborhood will open in fall 2020. Where will the car-free life spread to next? The developer said it has its eye on Denver, Dallas and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

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