Sprawling Mesa, Ariz., Aims to Become a College Town

Ashley Lowery for The Chronicle

Mayor Scott Smith, of Mesa, Ariz., plans to attract small colleges to the downtown area, to give the city's young people a reason to stick around.
March 18, 2012 Premium content for subscribers. Subscribe Today

Viewed from far above, this city is an irregular splotch sprawling east from Tempe—133 square miles, roughly in the form of a hook. At ground level, it seems even less defined—strip malls and developments of one- and two-story buildings flow as...

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