Over the last two decades, suburban studies have emergedfrom a call for a new conceptual order to go beyond the tra-ditional dichotomies of the urban realm, namely, the centre‐periphery division. Such an approach distinguishes the cityand suburbs as two separate entities, which hampers a bet-ter understanding of urbanization overall. Previously, stud-ies of suburban areas have been interested in urbangrowth and regional development, albeit peripheral to thecore themes of the research field. Yet a continuity of stud-ies focusing on suburbs is appearing, and a proliferation ofconcepts has been produced to describe the diverse subur-ban forms according to specific features. Furthermore,suburbanization has now assumed a global dimension, asdemonstrated by several recent studies and different newurban theories including “post‐metropolis,”“planetaryurbanization,” and “polycentric metropolis.” This article aimsat pursuing a “suburban debate” by providing an overviewof the current state of research while pointing out the mainfrictions and unsolved issues of this proliferating discussion.First, conceptual frictions that travel worldwide areaddressed and discussed. Then, contemporary issues andchallenges regarding the governance of areas at the “urbanedges” are highlighted as fundamental aspects to cope withwhile observing the socio‐spatial and socio‐ economic polar-izations that are occurring in the constant (sub)urban expan-sion, as recently addressed by several scholars.

Suburban studies: State of the field and unsolved knots

De Vidovich, Lorenzo
2019

Abstract

Over the last two decades, suburban studies have emergedfrom a call for a new conceptual order to go beyond the tra-ditional dichotomies of the urban realm, namely, the centre‐periphery division. Such an approach distinguishes the cityand suburbs as two separate entities, which hampers a bet-ter understanding of urbanization overall. Previously, stud-ies of suburban areas have been interested in urbangrowth and regional development, albeit peripheral to thecore themes of the research field. Yet a continuity of stud-ies focusing on suburbs is appearing, and a proliferation ofconcepts has been produced to describe the diverse subur-ban forms according to specific features. Furthermore,suburbanization has now assumed a global dimension, asdemonstrated by several recent studies and different newurban theories including “post‐metropolis,”“planetaryurbanization,” and “polycentric metropolis.” This article aimsat pursuing a “suburban debate” by providing an overviewof the current state of research while pointing out the mainfrictions and unsolved issues of this proliferating discussion.First, conceptual frictions that travel worldwide areaddressed and discussed. Then, contemporary issues andchallenges regarding the governance of areas at the “urbanedges” are highlighted as fundamental aspects to cope withwhile observing the socio‐spatial and socio‐ economic polar-izations that are occurring in the constant (sub)urban expan-sion, as recently addressed by several scholars.
suburbs
suburban studies
suburbanization
suburban governance
urban sprawl
urbanization
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1087068
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