Defining suburbs

Authored by: Ann Forsyth

The Routledge Companion to the Suburbs

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138290235
eBook ISBN: 9781315266442
Adobe ISBN:


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There is no consensus as to what exactly constitutes a suburb. This chapter examines the range of suburban definitions in terms of their structure and the topical issues with which they grapple. Suburbs have been defined according to many different dimensions from location and transportation modes to culture and physical appearance. Given this confusion, one approach is to abandon the term; another is to use it with greater precision. This is more than just an issue of semantics. Rather, how people talk and think about suburbs shapes how they can see such areas being developed and redeveloped in the future.

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