Today’s Solutions: October 04, 2022

We first wrote about the plans to establish Culdesac Tempe, the US’ first community built on a zero-driving model, back in 2019. Now, the $170 million residential development located just outside Phoenix, Arizona, is getting ready to welcome its first residents in July 2022. When construction is finished, the complex with boast 761 apartment units, a grocery store, restaurant, café, and co-working space, all within walking distance.

To become a member of this community, residents must sign a contract that forbids them from even parking a vehicle within a quarter-mile radius of the site—so, if they’re not walking, how will they get around? All residents have to do is pay their rent, which starts at $1,090 for a studio and $1,250 for a one-bedroom.

The rent covers access to a Lyft Pink subscription, preferred pricing for a fleet of Bird scooters, an Envoy car share membership, and free unlimited passes on the Valley Metro transit system. According to Lavanya Sunder, general manager at Culdesac Tempe, it’s the first time a US real estate developer is including paid transportation options as part of the monthly rent.

“We’re finding that most people moving in are not planning to keep their cars,” Sunders says. “They don’t have a car now or are planning on selling it, partly because we will have this multitude of mobility options onsite.”

While the pandemic has prompted a drop in transit ridership, the calls to reduce our carbon emissions have intensified in the wake of the health crisis, encouraging people to trade in their gas-fueled vehicles for more eco-friendly options like traditional pedal bikes or e-bikes. Culdesac could offer a model for other pedestrian-focused communities to form, or as an antidote to suburban sprawl in a post-car era.

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