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Between the months of November through March the city of Yuma Arizona doubles in population with the influx of over 90,000 seasonal residents, or “snow birds”. This influx of mobile residents has created one of the fastest growing industries along the Mexico border: the RV Park. Yuma Arizona currently has over 90 RV parks, and if this is added to the over 8000 stationary mobile homes in Yuma we find that nearly 50% of its residents are living in temporary dwellings. .

RV parks are a competitive industry catering to the demands of a new mobile population of senior citizens and contract workers, both of whom expect modern amenities and complete flexibility to come and go on short notice. Thus, RV parks are like hotels in that spaces are rented on a day-by-day basis and compete to provide the most services for the cheapest price. RV parks are plug in cities providing all the external needs to a home, including a parking spot, cable tv, laundry, electricity, internet, sewer, and water hookups.

A mobile population roaming freely from the constraints of a fixed residence have created a new urban model based on the prospect of communties competing for their residency. Given the freedom of the RV dweller, we are witnessing a new fluidity to the way cities form and grow. We find that many RVs are clustering along the towns bordering with Mexico. It appears that this is related to the access to the discount pharmacies and discount dental care available across the border in Mexico. As more residents become mobile over the next few decades we are bound to see more migrations and temporary cities evolve. Taking Yuma as a case study, perhaps we can learn from the RV park and begin to understand it as a model of the future city.