Towards Successful Suburban Town Centres
A study of the relationship between morphology, sociability, economics and accessibility
Please note that this project has finished. The current project is Adaptable Suburbs.
RGS - IBG Conference 2008: The Geography of Suburban Space - SSTC project in association with the Urban Geography Research Group
The widespread perception of suburbia as synonymous with social and architectural homogeneity belies its spatial, social, ethnic and economic diversity. With pressure to build large numbers of new homes increasing there is a real danger that such a perception becomes self-fulfilling. Avoiding such an outcome is not simply a challenge for recently planned settlements. The critical question concerns the extent to which existing suburbs can adapt for future growth. There is an urgent need for scholars and planners to recognise how suburbia contains a great variety of distinctive places for living and working. Such an improved understanding of suburban settlements must be grounded in historically informed research into the process through which the suburbs became absorbed into urban networks and their emerging position within increasingly complex, multi-scaled urban regions.
The papers presented in this session intend to move the debate forward by proposing that historical suburban settlements raise fundamental socio-spatial issues that require sustained collaboration between a range of disciplinary fields, including geography, history, architecture, urban design and planning, before they can be properly understood and addressed. The session will create a forum for discussing these issues as part of the emerging field of suburban studies.