Beyond Sprawl - Rethinking The Southwest Economy

Sprawl Montage

Single-family home construction has been a powerful - perhaps the strongest - engine of economic growth for much of the Southwest since World War II. But this recession has decimated the housing and construction industry. Many economists predict it may never rebound to provide the kind of jobs and economic vitality the region is accustomed to. Then there are the demographic changes that could permanently alter the face of the suburbs. In this multimedia series, we investigate the past and the present to report on what growth in the Southwest could look like in the future.

Biotechnology firms actually added jobs while other industries, like construction, lost them during the Great Recession. In the finale of our series, we explore whether biotech can offer jobs to unemployed carpenters and real estate agents.
Absentee buyers are seeing opportunity in cheap Las Vegas homes; they accounted for close to half of home sales in September. As part of our continuing series, we explore why some local realtors want to lure cash-rich foreigners to join in on the buying.
As part of our ongoing series, we explore why one Las Vegas company is tired of its offices in the sprawling suburbs. The CEO wants to move downtown, and help transform the gritty neighborhood into a vibrant, urban hub.
With the real estate crash and lingering economic gloom, is it time to re-think the all-American suburb? In the next installment of our ongoing series, Arizona State University graduate students say yes and share some of their designs.
Laura Oeinck was a realtor during the height of the mortgage crisis. As part of our continuing series on development in the Southwest, Oeinck shares what she witnessed.
Zombie subdivisions are haunting the suburbs. The half-built developments are a nuisance to neighbors, city government and planners. In the first part of a multimedia series, we explore what should be done with the empty land and report how the answers will impact the region's economy.