The Nevada city's craziest urban designs, as seen from space

Las Vegas's built environment is full of absurdities. The city's development patterns showcase a tension between the natural (desert) and the built (the planned communities that litter the landscape).

They also serve as visual symbols of America's 2008 housing bubble. Anticipating rapid growth, developments fail to connect to each other, confidently (or, perhaps thoughtlessly) leaving the future to fill the spaces between.

Below is a collection of satellite imagery via Google Maps that showcase some of these bizarre building patterns:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    These Sneakers Are Your Free Transit Pass

    A new BVG-Adidas collaboration means unlimited travel along Berlin’s public transit network for the rest of 2018. That is if you can find a pair.

  2. Transportation

    To Measure the 'Uber Effect,' Cities Get Creative

    Ride-hailing companies are cagey on all-important trip data. So researchers are finding clever workarounds.

  3. Equity

    Is It Better to Be Poor in Bangladesh or in the Mississippi Delta?

    The Nobel laureate Angus Deaton discusses extreme poverty, opioid addiction, Trump voters, robots, and rent-seeking.

  4. A cyclist maneuvers his way through downtown Los Angeles traffic on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.
    POV

    Who Owns Urban Mobility Data?

    Policymakers need it; private transportation companies have it. Here’s one way to broker a solution.

  5. Environment

    Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

    The plan is for 50 million new trees to repopulate one of the least wooded parts of the country—and offer a natural escape from several cities in the north.