Infill Development and the Modern Streetcar

One of the guiding assumptions behind support for Tucson’s Modern Streetcar, and other forms of “transit-oriented development” (TOD) is that it is possible to accommodate predicted population growth in ways that don’t damage neighborhoods, cultural heritage, or the quality of the environment by expanding upwards rather than outwards. This “infill development” strategy is not without its critics, especially those concerned about the preservation of historic buildings, sight lines to the mountains, and the burdens of congestion.

A 2005 report by The Drachman Institute and The Neighborhood Infill Coalition included a number of these concerns, emphasizing the importance of open space and traditional neighborhood character in relation to the increased demand for off-street parking and student housing. The four mile Modern Streetcar and the development corridor that will form the basis for Tucson’s TOD efforts broke ground in 2012, and a number of associated infill opportunities have been described in a recent report by the city.

This artist’s conception provides one window’s view of our region’s future.


And this artist’s view of 14-story buildings near campus provides another.



Tucson Regional Indicators Project (TRIP)