Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services


Mace, Alan ORCID: 0000-0001-9920-8765 (2009) Suburbanization. In: Kitchin, Rob and Thrift, Nigel, (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier Publishing, Oxford, UK, pp. 77-81. ISBN 9780080449111

Full text not available from this repository.


Suburbia varies widely both between countries and within them. In some countries suburbanization represents the forcing out of the powerless from the center; in others it is a retreat from the center that allows the privileged to perpetuate their advantage. This article focuses on the latter model of suburbia which is common in, among other places, Australia, the UK, and the USA. This type of suburbia represents the physical attempt to mix the urban and rural and is closely associated with the traditional nuclear family, the aspiration for upward social mobility, mass consumption, and commuting. Because of these associations, suburbia has been attacked for being conventional and dull. Such criticism assumes a uniformity in suburbia that is not borne out in reality. Studies of suburban history suggest that it was never as homogeneous as its critics supposed and neither is it static. As cities change, extending their sphere of influence ever further, the relationship between suburbia and the city is likely to change. The most pressing challenges for suburbia are first, whether it can remain a residential location of choice and second, the extent to which low-density, car-dependent suburbia can become more sustainable.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD100 Land Use
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 10:00
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:17

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item