From the abstract: "We find that the recent expansion of the region is characterized by eight main development forms: rural sprawl, middle-class tract housing, incremental small-scale subdivision, upscale fringe development, commercial development, industrial/office development, multifamily housing, and trailer parks (listed in order of the amount of land consumed by each). Although “suburban sprawl” is often pictured as middle class tract housing and associated commercial development, rural sprawl in fact affects a far greater land area in the Albuquerque region, accounting for 52% of all new land developed between 1980 and 2005. Spatial analysis of census demographics shows that many newly urbanizing portions of the region are characterized by relatively affluent, Anglo populations, in contrast to the older portions of the metro area and the Rio Grande Valley, which are often home to more diverse, lower-income residents.
Overall, the dramatic increase in the physical size of the twenty-first century region is striking, as is the discontiguous, “leapfrog” nature of development, polarization by income and race, and the jurisdictional fragmentation of the region. This analysis points to the need for coordinated regional planning to manage growth if the region’s residents wish to preserve open space, protect historic cultural landscapes, limit environmental impacts, curb rising motor vehicle use and traffic, and reduce spatial inequities between affluent and lower-income communities."