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Parks & Recreation, City Planning and Urban Development in a Southwest Suburb: Mesa, Arizona 1980-2000

Simpson, Mark

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ISBN 10: 059543892X / ISBN 13: 9780595438921
Published by iUniverse, Inc.
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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059543892X Clean and bright. Very little visible wear. No marks or highlighting. Spine is solid and firm with no creasing. Bookseller Inventory # WRM-1000756

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Parks & Recreation, City Planning and Urban ...

Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.


Book Condition:Fine

About this title


The importance of leisure and recreation in American cities changed during the last half century, particularly in the urbanizing Sunbelt. In the postwar West, suburbs sprawled and civic leaders struggled to provide adequate parks and recreation services. Inactive urban life created a growing need for physical fitness, while rapid economic growth increased disposable family income and leisure time. As a result, families began to look for neighborhoods with amenities such as parks, baseball fields and jogging tracks when considering where to purchase a home.The city of Mesa, Arizona was a typical suburban boomtown in the postwar era. Rapid population growth occurred simultaneously with corporate expansion in this Phoenix suburb. The warm climate, cheap land and low taxes made Mesa an attractive place for businesses to expand. These factors, along with an increase of high tech jobs, attracted numerous new residents. The city's population grew even more rapidly than employment, however, and Mesa transformed into a bedroom community. By the late 1970's Mesa was struggling to expand its economy, to revitalize its downtown area, to provide city services, and to attract new residents. While the city succeeded in attracting profitable retail facilities, it faced difficulties in other respects. Neighboring cities such as Scottsdale and Tempe were far more successful developing downtown areas and attracting affluent residents. These cities marketed themselves as tourist destinations. Also, decades of rapid growth left Mesa officials unable to cope with soaring demands for various amenities, including parks and recreation services.While the city stumbled in various areas, it had significant success with efforts to plan for recreation and parks. This eventually connected with efforts to solve larger problems in Mesa.

About the Author:

Historian Mark C. Simpson has a Masters Degree in United States History. His first book, In Search of Justice: Examining Efforts to Obtain Convictions in Unsolved Civil Rights Era Murders in Mississippi, was published in 2006. He has studied history at Arizona State University and Harvard University. He is currently working towards a PHD in history at Oklahoma State University Stillwater. Mark enjoys studying urban development and the civil rights era. He currently resides in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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