The Life of North American Suburbs: Imagined Utopias and Transitional Spaces

Edited by Jan Nijman

© 2020

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Global Suburbanisms
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Illustrations: 60
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.3in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP004483

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2020

    From: $29.96

    Regular Price: $39.95

    ISBN 9781487520779
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2020

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

    ISBN 9781487501099
  • PUBLISHED FEB 2020

    From: $29.96

    Regular Price: $39.95

Quick Overview

This is the first comprehensive look at the role of North American suburbs in the last half century, departing from traditional and outdated notions of American suburbia.

The Life of North American Suburbs: Imagined Utopias and Transitional Spaces

Edited by Jan Nijman

© 2020

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Global Suburbanisms
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 400 pages
  • Illustrations: 60
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.3in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "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
  • Author Information

    Jan Nijman is Director and Distinguished University Professor at the Urban Studies Institute of Georgia State University, and professor of Geography at the University of Amsterdam.
  • Table of contents

    List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
    Preface

    1. Introduction: Elusive Suburbia
    Jan Nijman

    Part 1: Questioning North American Suburbia

    2. Using Toronto to Explore Three Suburban Stereotypes, and Vice Versa
    Richard Harris

    3. Mexico City: Elusive Suburbs, Ubiquitous Peripheries
    Liette Gilbert

    4. Searching for Suburbia in Metropolitan Miami
    Jan Nijman and Tom Clery

    5. Spatial Transformations in the Suburbs of the North Carolina Piedmont Region
    Fang Wei and Paul Knox

    Part 2: Changing Political Economies of Suburbanization

    6. The Strange Case of the Bay Area
    Richard Walker and Alex Schafran

    7. Vancouverism as Suburbanism
    Elliot Siemiatycki, Jamie Peck, and Elvin Wyly

    8. Montreal: An Ordinary North American Metropolis?
    Claire Poitras and Pierre Hamel

    9. New York’s Suburbs in a Globalized Metropolitan Region
    James Defilippis and Christopher Niedt

    Part 3: Race, Ethnicity, and the Remaking of Suburbia

    10. Diverging Racial Geographies in Phoenix’s Postwar and Post–Civil Rights Suburbs
    Deirdre Pfeiffer

    11. Suburbanization and the Making of Atlanta as the “Black Mecca”
    Katherine Hankins and Steve Holloway

    12. Edmonton, Mill Woods, Amiskwaciy Waskahikan
    Rob Shields, Dianne Gillespie, and Kieran Moran

    13. Economic Development and the New Immigrant Segregationist Politics in Suburban Chicago
    David Wilson

    Part 4: Contested Suburbs
    14. Governance, Politics, and Suburbanization in Los Angeles
    Roger Keil and Derek Brunelle

    15. Reaching Suburbia: Towards a Socially Just Transit System for Ottawa
    Caroline Andrew and Angela Franovic

    16. Contested Spaces: Suburban Development in Halifax and Other Midsized Canadian Cities
    Jill l. Grant

    17. Epilogue: Suburbs as Transitional Spaces
    Jan Nijman

    Contributors
    Index

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