This book chronicles and explains the role of suburbs in North American cities since the mid-twentieth century. Examining fifteen case studies from New York to Vancouver, Atlanta to Chicago, Montreal to Phoenix, The Life of North American Suburbs traces the insightful connection between the evolution of suburbs and the cultural dynamics of modern society. Suburbs are uniquely significant spaces: their creation and evolution reflect the shifting demographics, race relations, modes of production, cultural fabric, and class structures of society at large. The case studies investigate the place of suburbs within their wider metropolitan constellations: the crucial role they play in the cultural, economic, political, and spatial organization of the city. Together, the chapters paint a compelling portrait of North American cities and their dynamic suburban landscapes.
"Through the case studies presented in each of the chapters, The Life of North American Suburbs demonstrates the diversity and movement away from a stereotypical, post-war portrait of North American suburbs."- Elizabeth C. Delmelle, Department of Geography & Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"This timely and fascinating book – rooted in empirics but resting upon strong theoretical bases – gathers the work of eminent urban scholars, each presenting detailed and thoughtful analyses of suburbs and suburbanisation in their respective North American cities. Collectively, the chapters formulate a new, textured approach to suburbs. These are presented as places to live, and therefore as spaces of enjoyment, contestation, politics, tension, and storytelling – a kaleidoscopic view that firmly buries stereotypes of suburban uniformity. The book is essential reading for planners, urban geographers, and urban analysts: notwithstanding recent (over)emphasis on central cities and ‘buzzing’ neighbourhoods, the vast majority of metropolitan population – and population growth – remains suburban."- Richard Shearmur, OUQ, MCIP, Director, School of Urban Planning, McGill University
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