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Thread: Urban v. suburban

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Dec 1998

    Urban v. suburban

    I'm looking for input....can anyone describe the difference between "urban" and "suburban." In casual conversation, a person who possesses a master's in planning but does not actually plan, told me (in my opinion) the most ridiculous difference between the two (urban="bad" part of town; suburban="good" part of town). I just want to know what other planners think.

  2. #2

    Urban v. Suburban

    The guy should have his licence revoked! Where did he get his planning degree..Wal Mart? Its actually the reverse: "Urban good, suburban bad"


    1) Cosmopolitan
    2) Mixed incomes
    3) Ethnically diverse
    4) Narrow streets
    5) Front porches
    6) Finely crafted late 19th Century houses
    7) Stores with apartments above
    8) Walk almost anywhere
    9) Infrastructure already in place
    10) Children can walk to school, parks, stores (with parental supervision in some cases)
    11) A wide variety of architecture


    1) Sterile
    2) High taxes drive poor out
    3) Little ethnic/racial diversity
    4) Cul-de-sacs as wide as freeways - where cars speed almost as fast
    5) Back porches
    6) Old houses demolished for "McMansions"
    7) Exclusionary zoning prohibits apartments above stores
    8) You have to drive everywhere.
    9) Infrastructure yet to be put in (at enourmous cost)
    10) Children can't go anywhere because their morally and intellectuallly bankrupt parents are too obsessed with their flashy careers and $300,000 mortgage - as well as the SUV in the driveway (No, 2 SUVs in the heated driveway) - to take them anywhere.
    11) Cookie cutter, jive plastic, bunker houses: Just drive down the street with the garage door opener pointed out the window. Whichever garage door opens..is yours.

    Albiet, there is more crime in urban areas than suburban. But what's worse - being robbed of your purse or wallet containing $20 by a mugger in an alley, or paying $200 more in taxes this year because rampant developent in your suburb is overburdening the school district, forcing up taxes through school levies (which always pass becuase the rich yuppies always vote "yes"). Think about it.

  3. #3

    Urban v. Suburban

    It is obvious why this person has not been able to work in the planning field. "Urban" refers to the original, not necessarily bad, or old part of the city. "Suburban" refers to the parts of the city which are removed from the city centre. I guess the terms are a little vague, but to define the word Urban as being bad is completely wrong. I would call the suburbs bad moreso than the Urban core. jd

  4. #4

    Urban v. Suburban

    No need to get bitter about it. ITS ALL a big smorgasbord of illusionary lifestyles.

    Being academic means expressing the matter of differences between them in an OBJECTIVE manner and taking in the historical and worldly perspective of the movement.

    The people in the suburb have chosen their lifestyles and all the positive and negative aspects that go with it. It is up to Architects, Planners, Artists and Environmentalists who care about the QUALITY OF LIFE to expose larger issues at hand that is not readily apparent to everyone.

    There are many kults out there and one has to practise one's own cult but unfortunately apathy is the religion of choice at the moment.


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