New Mexico - Albuquerque - Urban Sprawl

State: New Mexico
Region: Albuquerque

One of the faster growing cities in the United States, Albuquerque has not been immune to the negative consequences of growth and urbanization that plagues other cities.

Urban sprawl is limited on three sides—by the Pueblo of Sandia to the north, the Pueblo of Isleta and Kirtland Air Force Base to the south, and the Sandia Mountains to the east. Suburban growth continues at a strong pace to the west, beyond Petroglyph National Monument.

Much of the growth in the metropolitan area is actually taking place outside of the city of Albuquerque itself. In Rio Rancho to the northwest, the communities east of the mountains, and the incorporated parts of Valencia County, population growth rates approach twice that of Albuquerque.

Like other desert boomtowns, Albuquerque's loosely planned sprawl is on a collision course with its finite water supply. A new development, incorporating high density and mixed-use design is planned for the city's west side. Mesa del Sol, a 12,900-acre expanse south of Albuquerque will have an extremely efficient water system.