The Bartlett School of Planning


International Perspectives on Suburbanization

International Perspectives on Suburbanization

12 January 2011

Nicholas A. Phelps and Fulong Wu (2011), Palgrave Macmillan

This book, by Nicholas Phelps and Fulong Wu, in posing the question of whether we live in a distinctly post-suburban world, is the first systematic attempt to explore the salience and nature of processes post-suburbanization in international perspective.  

The road to and from the airport in many national settings presents a seemingly familiar sight.  Typically congested roads allow the observer to register new urban developments such as office blocks, warehouses, retail complexes with gated residential developments often in close attendance in configurations that appear common throughout the world.  In the United States these developments have prompted new terms such as 'edge city', 'edgeless city' and 'technoburb' in an attempt to signal a break with processes of urbanization that produced traditional residential suburbs.  

Drawing on thematic chapters covering the history, form and politics of contemporary urbanization and on examples from the Americas, Europe and Asia the book elaborates on the manner in which contemporary developments in the outer reaches of city-regions across the world might be considered post-suburban.