Another interesting geographic phenomenon I've noticed are places that I call "halfway towns". These are communities that are strategically situated between two major cities, which grew because the location allows residents to commute to one city or another, where the major cities themselves are otherwise beyond commuting range from each other. Note that a "halfway town" is different than a town that is just halfway between two major cities that are an hour or two apart.
A few examples of halfway towns:
* Castle Rock, Colorado: between Denver and Colorado Springs
* Oakville, Ontario: between Toronto and Hamilton
* Hudson, Macedonia and Brecksville, Ohio: between Cleveland and Akron. (In Hudson's case, it's between Akron and the I-271 edge city development in Beachwood, Lyndhurst and Mayfield Village.)
Some smaller cities even have halfway towns of their own. For instance, there has been a great deal of growth recently in Wellington, Colorado, which is halfway between Fort Collins, Colorado and Cheyenne, Wyoming. There's almost no employment base in Wellington.
NOT halfway towns:
* Batavia, New York (between Buffalo and Rochester). It's mostly a self-contained community, and grew very little after World War II. While some residents commute to Buffalo or Rochester, the location for commuters is not the reason for its existence.
* Middletown, Ohio (between Cincinnati and Dayton). Like Batavia, it was long-established before WWII, self-contained, and it has little growth owing to its location within commuting distance of both Cincy and Dayton.