Inside the One-of-a-Kind Car-Free Community In Arizona


In Tempe, Ariz., just 15 miles east of Phoenix, lies the Arizona State University Culdesac, which is making a name for itself as the first car-free neighborhood in the country built from scratch. Its first group of residents, numbering almost 40, moved there in 2023, but eventually Culdesac aims to house 1,000 residents in 760 apartments on its 17-acre plot. Rental prices start at $1,550 per month, which gets you a 635-square-foot studio apartment. You can also rent a fully-furnished 2-bedroom apartment with 1,019 square feet starting at $2,641 a month. For a limited time, Culdesac is offering new residents 6 weeks free rent (valued at $4,500), a free light rail pass (valued at $768) and a free electric bike (valued at $999). The idea of the neighborhood is that people can go to the supermarket, to a coffee shop, to the gym, or take their pet for a run around the dog park without having to drive there. The complex is built next to the light rail line that goes to downtown Phoenix, making it even more attractive. The walls of the buildings are white to reflect the heat, inspired by the Barrio Viejo neighborhood in Tuscon, and Greek and Italian villages. This is very important in an area that sees temperatures hit the high 90s most of the summer. Residents also receive 15¢ off Lyft rides, and car sharing starts at $5 an hour with Envoy. Most of the current residents use electric bikes to get around.