12 April 2012

laying down roads to build the city

New road, lights, and palm trees awaiting further development in western Las Vegas. March 2009.

The coming of spring in Philadelphia and the subsequent enclosing of the landscape in foliage, heat, and humidity for the next six months has me thinking about the desert. The sky is a different blue in the aridity of Las Vegas, and the horizon much further away than in the northeast US.

The desert emerges as a flat ground, accepting this development without even having to clear the site of overgrowth or debris. Lay down the asphalt, run electricity, water, gas, and telecommunication lines alongside the road, and start building. (Oh, and don't forget the palm trees. It isn't Las Vegas without the palms.) This is the one layer of urban development at this ragged urban fringe where the Las Vegas butts up against the foothills. The infrastructure is put down and the buildings sprout from from it.

New construction at the western edge of Las Vegas, March 2009.

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