Minimizing urban sprawl through open space design strategies: The case of Tucson, Arizona

Shahzia Shazi, Mark Frederickson, R. Larry Medlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Urban sprawl refers to the change in land use outside an urban center that results in a relatively dispersed form of residential or commercial development and causes the loss of open space, farmland, or wildlife resource. Alternative methods of development, such as "smart growth" techniques and "New Urbanism" principles are being promoted as a set of ideas to mitigate urban sprawl, to encourage sustainable growth and facilitate infill development. The purpose of this paper is to address the problems due to the current urban sprawl in Tucson, Arizona. The paper further analyses a suitable site for redevelopment and offers open space design strategies to maximize the use of the undeveloped open spaces within the existing urban fabric by creating activity centers with sustainable development. The paper will also seek the possibilities of creating a connection within the city that would offer a continuous and perceptible urban environment through redevelopment of potential sites. Through various concept alternative developments, a final proposed master plan for the chosen site is generated by connecting three potential areas redeveloped to accommodate mixed-use functions through alternative modes of transportation, linking Tucson in the East-West direction in an attempt to minimize the current urban sprawl.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Alternative Modes of Transportation
  • Connectivity
  • Infill Development
  • Open Space Design
  • Urban Sprawl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Urban Studies


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