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Thread: Urban/Suburban Interface

  1. #1
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    Urban/Suburban Interface

    I'm looking for information (preferrably journal articles...but even books) that pertains to suburbs that aren't really urban, but aren't really suburban. I've heard this called the "urban/suburban interface" as well as "first ring suburbs." I work with teens in "one of these places" - and I am currently in the process of writing a paper for my college on the topic.

    Does anyone have any leads to good sources? I appreciate all of your help!

    Jeremiah

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Please take a couple of minute to better define the term, and the issues as you perceive them.

  3. #3
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    Perhaps this is more of a sociological question, but it seems that there is almost an identity struggle in a community that rests on the border between an urban center and a suburb. This is what I call the urban/suburban interface. The commmunity is not sure if it is urban or suburban because of the great diversity of its inhabitants - whether economically, socially, or racially. It seems to make a difference as to whether or not kids are urban or suburban (and there seems to be an "attitude" difference). The teens that I encounter on a daily basis seem to struggle with being trapped between two worlds, being a part of neither - neither one wants to accept them because they are a combination of the two...not entirely homogenous toward either suburban or urban.

    Does that make any sense?
    I'm trying to learn more about this concept that has been floating around in my head...and there doesn't seem to have been much research done with the idea. I've chosen to write a paper concerning this idea because I think it will help me better understand the teens I'm involved with.

    Specifically, I am speaking about kids in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. The border between Minneapolis and Columbia Heights is 37th Ave. and my church is located on 41st - five blocks away. It also seems that the border of the "city" has moved closer to like 44th or 45th Ave, even though the technical city limits is still at 37th Ave.

  4. #4
          Downtown's avatar
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    Jeremiah,

    What a great paper topic. Our town is adjacent to the city of Albany and we definitely have this dynamic going on between the two municipalities. The line between the 1950's and 60's suburban homes and the 70's and 80's is pretty clear - with a much more urban feel to the older area - much smaller lots and houses, grid pattern streets, etc. I'd be very curious to see what your search comes up with. Good luck!

    Kelly

  5. #5
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    Just an update!

    Boston Review Archives

    I'm hoping that the above link works, because I'm not the most fluent in computer language!

    I found a very interesting issue of the Boston Review which from 1997 which dealt with issues of urban centers. The initial article is "A New Urban Agenda" by Luria and Rogers, followed by four responses by Thompson, Orfield, Feldman, Weir, and a response to the responses by Luria and Rogers (boy, if that's not confusing).

    I found them interesting for anyone who's interested. It appears that Boston is really experiencing the growing pains of this interesting trend.

    A search on Myron Orfield would also be helpful to anyone interested on further research on the topic. Orfield, interestingly enough, is a Minnesotan who has been quite involved in planning. He has written a book: MetroPolitics, (1997), Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institute.

    *laughing* I may be preaching to the choir, but that's about the best way to briefly summarize my research (otherwise I'd have to write my own book...move over Orfield, here I come!!).

    Jeremiah

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    Can anybody tell that I wrote that last post at 3:30 am?!

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