Suburbanization in Australia

Authored by: Robert Freestone , Bill Randolph , Simon Pinnegar

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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Since the nineteenth century, suburban life has been the dominant lifestyle in Australian cities. At the same time, the simple binary between city and suburb, and all the stereotypical judgments that go with it, has broken down under diverse development pressures and circumstances. Suburbs have always been diverse, particularly in terms of social class, but they have grown increasingly heterogeneous in physical, cultural, and environmental ways. This chapter reviews pro- and anti-suburban thought in Australian social discourse, the basic demographic parameters of suburbia, and its physical evolution. The chapter identifies four specific issues for more intensive scrutiny, each of which raises policy challenges for the future: increasing densification, the suburbanization of disadvantage, different models of regenerating older suburbs, and moves toward more effective suburban and thus metropolitan governance. The conclusion reflects on the distinctiveness of the Australian experience.

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