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Defining suburbia

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
I think suburbia is the area in a metropolitan area that is not the central city. The area closest to the center is the city. Everything else is suburbia. The Census does a pretty good of defining metropolitan areas. Look it up. Pretty simple.

Auto-dependence, predominance of single-family homes, etc? I think those are characteristics of sprawl. Suburbia and sprawl, while often coinciding, are not the same thing. There are older suburbs that do not have these characteristics, yet are still within the suburbs of a major city. In the Northeast there are tons of "urban" suburbs. Hell, some of the suburbs of Boston, New York, Philly, etc are far more walkable, dense, etc than the "inner cities" of the Sunbelt. Thus, it's totally illogical to define suburbia using these qualities. It doesn't magically stop being a suburb just because you can walk down the street and get a slice of pizza.
 

Laredo Urbanist

Cyburbian
Messages
65
Points
4
Suburbia

To me suburbia is the outlying parts of a city still within the city limits where most are segregated uses, especially resedential. Suburbs are also resedential areas for higher economic classes, where for in the city you will find people of lower economic class. However New Urbanist Suburbs have an integration of land uses and economic classes. By the way have you forgotten about EXURBS. For examle in Dallas the outlaying neighborhoods would be suburbs and the surounding cities of arlington, plano, irving, ect. would be exurbs. Rural areas could be considered exurbs. To me a rural area is a remote, low populated area outside the city limits or outside a metropolitan area where farming is most likely found. However in Laredo's case we have a great amount of rural area inside our metropolitan vicinity which does include ranches and colonias. Colonias are rural subdivisions created on unused ranchland by landowners for means to generate capital. (Michael Yoder and Renne LaPerriere. Social Geography of Laredo, Texas, Neighborhoods:"Hispanic Spaces, Latino Places" by Daniel D. Areola. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004) ;-)
 

Laredo Urbanist

Cyburbian
Messages
65
Points
4
I forgot to mention...Like here in Laredo the suburb of Del Mar was a town on its own seperated from the city of Laredo by three miles of ranchland. This development started in 1960, and was home to most anglos who worked at the airbase and that wanted a more american suburban way of living. The city of Laredo annexed this small development in 1981. Del Mar is still considered a suburb of Laredo although people in Laredo don't know much about suburbs so they just think they live in the nicer, richer part of town. This is just another example of suburbs still within the central city limits, although at first it was outside the city limits.
 

dobopoq

Cyburbian
Messages
1,002
Points
21
In a word: lawnmower

The average ratio of building height to steet width is < 1.

^ [Although many areas considered inner city meet this criteria, to me, part of what makes a suburb is the lack of a cozy street wall. When building heights exceed street width, you know the area you're in is more about being in a place, than it is about going someplace.]

Anyplace where people in their 20's seem like an endangered species, is a suburb!

Anyplace that features "office parks" is a suburb.
 
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