Tucson is a city in Pima County, Arizona with roughly 150 companies that are involved in the optoelectronics system and optic design and manufacture thus earning the nickname Optics valley. The city was officially founded on August 20, 1776 (Logan, 2001). Though it was part of Mexico, it became part of the United States in 1854. It is now the second largest city of Arizona.
Traditionally, mining of Copper has been an important part of the economy of the city. For example, in 1976, one in every twenty residents of Tucson was a miner of copper. In the early 80s, the depression of the prices of copper combined with the competition of the foreign companies led to a drastic downturn of the mining sector the led to only four-tenths of the working population be in the mining industries. In the 90s, the sector started picking and it has continued playing a major role in the economy although sign of a slowdown has started emerging again (Logan, 2001).
During the mining down turn, Tucson sought to diversify its economy. In the 1980s, the city experienced growth from the University of Arizona and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base that employed 11000 and 9200 employees respectively. There were also contributions of other sectors like the high-tech and banking industries. Currently, the economy of the city is based on the art, manufacturing, tourism and the high-tech industries. The symphony, ballet, live theater, and the opera call Tucson home despite the fact that it is relatively small in size. The climate of Tucson city is sunny and dependably dries thus assuring the continuity of growth of the tourism industry. The tourism industry employs approximately 1 in every 10 employees in the metropolitan area. It earns the city over 1.5 billion dollars annually (Milan, 2013).
In the last 10 years, the manufacturing sector of Tucson city has doubled and it includes companies like AlliedSignal, Burr-Brown, Environmental Air Products Inc, Krueger Industries and Raytheon Missile Systems Company (Logan, 2001). This incursion of the manufacturing companies has caused changes in the economy base with the copper industry being the most affected. The city has also promoted the expansion of the high-tech industries actively. The Milkin Institute ranked Tucson city the seventh out of the 200 best performing metropolitan cities. This was mainly attributed to the high job growth in the high-tech industry. There are more than 300 companies that are involved in the information communication industry in the city. The other growing sector in the high-tech industries are aerospace, bioindustries, environmental technology, advanced composite materials, plastics and the telecommunication. The city hopes that these industries will continue being the catalysts that will draw other companies to the city (Logan, 2001).
Another contributing sector in the Tucson city is the building and construction caused by the relocation of major corporations in the metropolitan area. The city has also gotten involve in the international trade and has developed partnerships with Mexico. This is attributed to its proximity to the Mexican boarder. The city also promotes the twin-plant growth industries to locate part of their operations in Tucson. Its increased expansion is predicted in the computer component, electronic and aerospace product manufacture. Some of the items that are produced in the Tucson city are electronic equipment, aircrafts and aircraft parts, boxes, flour, agrochemicals, aluminium products, steel casting and fabrications, mobile homes, radios, air conditioning machineries, beer, liquor, saddles and leather goods and finally the native American and Mexican novelties (Milan, 2013).
Tucson Over Time
Tucson is rated as the oldest permanently settled community in the United States of America going back in the Hohokam Culture. After the official birth of the city, the Southern Pacific railroad reached Tucson I 1880 (Logan, 2001). The improved the access of the new settlers and availed goods from the East. During that year, the population of Tucson reached 8000 and 32 years later, Arizona became the 48th state in the Union. In 1862, the Morrill Act provided funds of the federal for the establishment of land grant colleges to focus on agriculture and mining. The University of Arizona open was opened in 1891 with 40 donated acres of land and 32 students. The enrollment of the University of Arizona stretched to 13058 students in 1960. Tucson had the privilege of opening the first municipally owned airport in the nation in 1919. This airport was then moved to a larger site in 1927 and Charles Lindbergh dedicated to two Tucsonans who had lost their live in aviation accidents (Logan, 2001). The airport accommodated both civil and civil aircrafts though the airfield was converted to full military operations in 1940 since it was playing a major role in the World War II. Today the airport accommodates over 6000 and 1700 civilian professionals. The city purchased the current site of the Tucson Airport and the Airport Authority established in 1948 to operate it. The population of Tucson grew from 40000 to 120000 between 1940 and the end of World War II. This is because the military that had trained in the Davis-Monthan for the war returned o settle down. The advent of the favorable residential air made it a choice for many. Also the emergence of the middle-class that sought residential house found their way to Tucson since they were readily available. By 2000, the population was at 486699 making Tucson the 30th largest city in the United States (Logan, 2001).
In the 1950s, the city started its campaign to extend the subdivision that had sprung up outside the limits of the city. In 1960, the development of real estate sector sustained the economic growth. This was fueled by the investors of Claifornia. In 1960, the city covered 70 square miles and this had tripled to 227 square miles in 2000. The Hughes Aircraft Company that is now called Raytheon Missile Systems was started in 1951 to produce missile and military equipment. It employed over 5000 workers thus becoming the largest employer and prompting growth in the region (Logan, 2001). Tourism has also been a major contributor to the economy of Tucson alongside the technology and the real estate sectors. The Hispanic and the Native America culture and the ranching culture of the west lure visitors to Tucson. Tourism earned Tucson 1.2 billion dollar in the beginning of 2000.
What ethnic/cultural/racial groups are evident in the formation of the city?
The official record of the city dates back to 1175 but the history of the Tucson city dates way before. The city was first occupied by the Paleo-Indians that are believed to be in the Arizona 12000 years ago. Archaeological excavations near the Santa Cruz River have located a village site dating back 4000 years ago (Sheaffer, 1998). The people there constructed canals for irrigation, grew corns beans, gathering wild plants and hunting animals. They are known for their red-on-brown pottery. In 1692, the Jesuit Missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino visited the Valley of Santa Cruz River and founded the Mission San Xavier del Bac. The Spanish established a walled fortress called the Presidio San Agustin de Tucson on August 20, 1775. This is believed to be near the present downtown Pima County Courthouse (Sheaffer, 1998).
Three wars occurred in Tucson between the Spanish colonists, the Apache warriors and the Spanish soldiers. The first war occurred in 1779 at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War while the second war was the Battle of Tucson which occurred in 1782 and the third war occurred I784. The city was subsequently called Tucson and became part of the Mexican state of Occidente after 1830 when Mexico gained independence from the Spanish in 1821. in 1846, the Mormon soldiers matched into Tucson and the smaller Mexican garrison of Fort Tucson fled without engaging in war (Sheaffer, 1998). The Mormon soldiers occupied the land for a while before they continued with their match to the Pacific. In 1853 during the Gadsden Purchase, Tucson became part of the New Mexican Territory which is an organized territory of the United States although the military of the United States did not take control of the city until March 1856.
In 1860, settler’s convention from the southern part of the Territory was held in Tucson and drafted the constitution of the Territory of Arizona. That was organized out of the New Mexico Territory. Lewis Owings was elected as the Territory governor and was elected delegates to the congress. This proposal did not succeed due to the opposition from the anti-slavery congressmen who feared that the new territory could have become a slave state. In 1861, after the civil war had begun, a Texan cavalry force ad militia of Arizona conquered the Southern New Mexico territory inclusive of the Tucson and the Mesilla. In August 1861, the victorious Baylor declared the existence of the Confederate Arizona Territory. This included the area that was defined in the Tucson convention the prior year with Tucson being its city.
In the early 1862 the Confederate Congress passed to organize the territory and President Jefferson Davis proclaimed it in February 1862 (Sonnichsen, 2002). The efforts of the confederacy to gain control of the territory led to the New Mexico campaigns and later in 12862 Baylor was ousted as the governor. And the confederate lost the Battle of Glorieta Pass hence forcing their retreat. California Column later captured the Tucson from Union Retreat that had been ousted by a small Confederate picket force at the Battle of Picacho Pass.
All of Arizona and Tucson remained part of the New Mexico Territory until February 1863 when the Arizona Organic Act passed the Senate that formed the Arizona territory. The capital of Arizona was moved from Prescott to Tucson where it remained until 1877. In 1885, the University of Arizona was founded and it was situated outside the limits of Tucson at the time. Tucson became the largest city of Arizona during the Territorial and periods of early statehood. It was the center of railroad and commercial while Phoenix was the seat of the state government and agriculture (Sonnichsen, 2002). Phoenix exceeded Tucson in population and growth between 1910 and 1920 and has continued to date. The two cities have experienced the highest growth rates in the United States of America.
The Chinese settled in Tucson with the construction of the Southern pacific railroad in 1880. The Mexican and Chinese merchants and farmers transcended the difference of race to form guanxi which were relationship of friendship and rust. The Chinese leased land from the Mexican to operate grocery stores and helped the compatriots who tried to enter the United States from Mexico after the Mexican revolution in 1910. The merchants of China supplied the army of John Pershing during its expedition touching Pancho Villa (Sonnichsen, 2002). The Chinese led to viable community social integration based on kinship and friendship under the leadership of Lee Wee Kwon. He was a prominent grocer and a community leader until when he died in 1965.
The Physical Layout
The city is laid out in a grid that is equally regular in the downtown areas but it gets less orderly as one moves away from the city center. Major thoroughfares are spread out at 1-mile intervals in the flatlands with small streets filling in the spaces that the major roads create. Major growth of Tucson has occurred in the foothill but the grid has broken completely due to hilly terrain. The Downtown is the main business district f the Tucson city and it incorporates parts of the two historic districts. It is majorly dominated by conventional centers
One of the cities is named the Presidio District and hosts the Spanish fort established in 1775 called El Presidio San Agustin de Tucson. There is also the historic block which has the Tucson Museum of Art and a number of original eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth home of the century. The other district is the El Presidio Historic District that is named after the Spanish military garrison that was once its colonizers. This neighborhood is bound by Alameda street on the south, the Main Avenue on the west, on the east is Church Avenue and on the west is Franklin Street. This was the most affluent neighborhood in the 1880s of the city and most of the large ancient homes have been restored. The neighborhood anchors the Tucson Museum of Art.
The other neighborhood is the Barrio Historico District that was established in the 19th century. The Cushing street bounds the neighborhood in the North and railroad tracks bounds it to the west while in the south is the Eighteenth street and Stone Avenue to the east. The Sonoran-style adobe row houses characterize Barrio Historico that directly abuts the street with no yards. This style was typical in the towns of the Mexicans. There are several restaurants that mask the neighborhood but most of the restored buildings function as offices and private residence. This neighborhood is still a borderline and restoration is a slow ongoing process as compared to the others.
There is then the Fourth Avenue that runs from the University Boulvard in the North and to the south is the Ninth street. This neighborhood is a favored shopping district for students who are cash-strapped. The shops in this neighborhood specialize basically in ethnic and used or vintage clothing and handcrafted item from around the world. it is closed to traffic twice or thrice a year for street fair that is favoured with the many restaurants and clubs to serve the nightlife of college students.
To the northeast of Downtown Tucson is the University District that is also called Midtown. This is part of the city with several neighborhoods collection that surrounds the University of Arizona. There are sorts of restaurants and shops that one would find in adjacent to a university. In the East side are the homes of the historic Arizona Inn and a few of other hotels. The north of the University is the Campbell Avenue which hosts the greatest number of interesting budget restaurants.
The other neighborhood of the city is the east Tucson which includes most of the parts of the east of the University District stretching all the way to the to the Eastern Unit of Saguaro national Park. There are very many hotels and quite a number of all-suites properties, vast good restaurants and the national park and the Sabino Canyon recreation. There is then the West Tucson which host the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum though there are not many recommendable places to stay. The Oro valley and the Marana are vast suburbs where all the recent development of the city is taking place. It hosts also good resorts and the slopes of Santa Catalina mountains. The Foothills is the most affluent neighborhoods of the city. It houses the most elegant shopping malls and plazas and expensive residential neighborhoods.
How Have the Economy, Class Structure and the Physical Geography Contributed to Special Layout of the City?
The Tucson is in the Sonoran Desert elevated approximately at 2400 feet. It is surrounded y federally protected areas and mountain ranges. It enjoys the sun all-year round with an average daytime temperature of 83 degrees. The rainfall is on average of 12 inches per year and has two rainy seasons; namely the summer monsoon season and the winter months. The Sonoran is home to diverse plants and animals. Some of this are found nowhere else in the world. The University of Arizona plays and important role in the economy and was the largest regional employer in 2012. The University impacts roughly USD2.1 billion annually. The second largest employer is Raytheon Missile Systems with 11500 employees.
The city is a national leader in many fronts. It was ranked the first as an Alternative Energy Leader and the sixth in Aerospace and Defense manufacturing. It is also recognized in optics, astronomy and medical industries. The United Stated Department of Energy designated the city as one of the Solar America Cities acknowledging the efforts of the city to adopt solar energy for a secure and clean future. Due to its favorable climate, tourism has played a key role in the economy. The sector supports over 22000 jobs and 2.4 billion direct spending was injected into the economy. Within the city limits, there are seven district schools which operate Amphitheater, Catalina, Foothills, Tucson Unified, Sunnyside, Vail and Flowing wells. The city also supports life long learning for its people of different age groups.
To a large extent, the transport network has influenced the patterns of land use in Tucson. The relatively flat topography has enabled the development of street grid pattern that support the commercial use of streets. The interstate 10 and 19 are the only main highways that transverse through the city thus making the collectors and aerials the main means of circulation of traffic. The city is also rich in culture that is founded in its heritage, demographics, economy and architecture. The culture events occur throughout the year and cater for all backgrounds and ages. Music and theater performances are in plenty thus making the place vibrant for recreation and leisure tours.
L., Sonnichsen. (2002). Tucson: the Life and Times of an American City . Unversity of Oklahoma Press.
Logan, M. (2001). The Desret Cities: The History of Phoneix and Tucson. Rail Publishing.
Milan, J. (2013). The ZEconomic environment Introduction: Plan Tucson. Tucson.
Sheaffer, J. (1998). Tucson. Daily Start.
The Mayor and Council. (2011). Formal Actions on Plan Tucson. Tucson.