Suburbs: A Very Short Introduction

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Suburbs -- History, Urbanization -- History


"This book explores two centuries of suburban growth as integral to global urbanism. It argues that the future of an urbanizing world will be a suburban world and presents suburbs as places that are interesting and viable on their own terms rather than simply poor cousins of big cities. Examples come from every peopled continent, offering glimpses of suburbs from London to Lima, Sao Paolo to Singapore, Cairo to Chicago, and Dublin to Delhi. The approach is both historical and thematic. The book first traces the history of suburban development in England and North America to 1940 and then examines three different trajectories of suburbanization in more recent decades. The United States and other nations drawing on British planning traditions have built low density suburbia characterized by owner-occupied housing, dependence on automobiles, planned new towns, and a legacy of racial residential segregations. High-rise housing built by national governments dominated suburban rings in Eastern Europe and parts of Western Europe and East Asia. Where neither government nor private market has been able to meet demand, residents have acted themselves to create informal communities with self-built housing on cheap peripheral land, sometimes misleadingly called shantytowns. After this world tour, a chapter explores suburban rings as places of work, from early dispersed manufacturing and industrial suburbs to research and development suburbs in developed economies about the world. Another thematic chapter examines the negative and even dystopian reputation of suburbs and sprawl in literature, popular media, and science fiction"-- Provided by publisher


© Oxford University Press


Part of the Very Short Introductions series.

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