Credits: OLI/ Landsat 8/ Nasa
When the real estate developer Del Webb conceived Sun City in the 1950 s, the goal to build a retirement community specifically for adults was unheard of at that time. It was fitting, then, that the layout of the community be equally distinctive. Amid the rectangular grids that make up most neighbourhoods in the greater Phoenix area, Sun Citys radial streets, curving lines of homes, and verdant golf courses are hard to miss when seen from above. At the centre of the circular neighbourhoods are community builds: chiefly churches, with a few stores and health-care facilities mixed in. Pools, tennis tribunals, pickle ball courts, and bowling alleys are squeezed in between the many single-level homes that predominate Sun City.
The retirement community concept proved wildly successful when Sun City was unveiled in 1960 with merely five model homes, a recreation centre, one golf course, and one shopping center. The opening weekend described more than 100,000 people and inspired a cover story in Time. Decades later, the age-restricted community has seven ponds, eight golf courses, and some 40,000 residents. Sun City demonstrated so successful that several more retirement communities were constructed simply to the west. A few of them include golf courses with distinctive layouts reminiscent of blooms when viewed from above.