The best aspect of Scottsdale is its low-key atmosphere, even though there's a lot of activity you can always seek out throughout the year. Urban density in Scottsdale doesn't exist in the usual sense, because even though real estate may be worth prime prices and southern and mid-Scottsdale are now quite heavily developed, the development is lateral and not vertical--no buildings over a couple of stories hit your eye for many miles. Additionally, major ranch properties like Gainey Ranch and McCormick Ranch create an even more countrified atmosphere by having their own public areas from lakes to parks to the wide stretches of green along major routes. Having lived in several major cities in different parts of the world during my life, even after three years of living full-time in Scottsdale, I find it still a refreshing change to wake up in the morning to the sound of birds singing--or nothing at all--rather than cars backfiring or even worse, guns firing.
Living in Scottsdale doesn't require commutes into the next major adjacent area, namely Phoenix, since Scottsdale has its own municipal center, business facilities, entertainment, and actually more world-class events and resort facilities than Phoenix itself. Scottsdale is a wonderful place to decompress, whether you're escaping the pressures of large scale urban population with all its usual problems, or just retreating here part-time for the peaceful environment. There is growth here too, and controversy about the sustainability of growth, there are issues like anywhere else on our planet today. Still, I catch my breath at the end of a typical day, looking at the surrounding mountains turning from ochre to purple in the early evening shadows, and I know what won't change about Scottsdale and why I came here.