Side by Side 

by Jessica Dalske

The information below is a compare/contrast.  I have personally identified in South Phoenix some similarities between developments in my own neighborhood (Northwest Phoenix) and South Phoenix, namely South Ranch, a Habitat for Humanity development of 195 homes.   I also looked at the differences/similarities of the new development rising up in South Phoenix to that of South Ranch.


Compare A@

 v     A first look at this quite and serene neighborhood reveals a sense of community.  Each homeowner chooses the color scheme, landscape, and other options with there home as they would in any other community.

v     “Although the name for a residential area is a leading source of identity for all income groups, little is known about what identities are communicated through names and how these vary by house value, time and area” (Blake & Arreola, p.25).

v     Even though South Ranch does not have an official gate on the community it does has a wall that encloses it and provide its residence safety and security from South Phoenix.

v     Habitat has a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), just as KB, VIP, and Ryland, which is designed to enforce the covenants, conditions, and restrictions.  “Your peers, the community association, have the power to take your house away from you,” Kleine explains in “Edge Cities” (Garreau, p.189).


Contrast @A

v     The owners of these homes pay only $60,000 for a home that may be valued at $100,000 plus after completion.  In any other community the homes have a set price and additions can add to that price.  The new homes within South Phoenix vary from $115,000 up to and exceeding a quarter of a million dollars.

v     At Habitat’s South Ranch the percentage rate of the loan is 0% and the term can be carried out for up to 44 years.  Most conventional home loans are at 6.5% and have a term length of 30 years.

v     Communities such as those in South Phoenix have to bond together, like those in the video “Holding Ground: the rebirth of Dudley Street”.  The gated communities in Phoenix often do not want to (or care to) know their neighbors and feel that the HOA will work for or against them. 

v     Perhaps some “neighborhood decline is the result of identifiable private and public investment decisions…”, but in South Phoenix (namely South Ranch) I feel that this is a revitalization effort versus a decline (Smith, p.62).

v     South Ranch, as well as the rest of South Phoenix maybe receiving a “make-over” but it has not instituted “the city as a theme park” such as Del Webb’s Anthem (Sorkin, p.14).   South Ranch is equipped with a learning center, park, and recreation.


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