Class 12a suburban geography
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Class 12a: Suburban geography Transportation and land use History of suburban growth History of the suburbs (U.S.) Tied to transportation technology One hour commute And federal subsidies Mortgage deductions, veterans’ loans Transportation and urban land use Walking, horsecars (to 1888)

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Class 12a: Suburban geography

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Class 12a: Suburban geography

Transportation and land use

History of suburban growth


History of the suburbs (U.S.)

  • Tied to transportation technology

    • One hour commute

  • And federal subsidies

    • Mortgage deductions, veterans’ loans


Transportation and urban land use

  • Walking, horsecars (to 1888)

    • High density downtown

  • Streetcar, commuter rail (1888-1920s)

    • Interurban electric rail, subways/elevated

  • Recreational auto (1920s-1950s)

    • Buses feed streetcar lines

  • Freeway Era (1950s-)


Philadelphia row houses

Beacon Hill, Boston

Rainbow Row, Charleston


History of the suburbs (U.S.)

  • Residential land uses

    • Escaping urban ills, spreading out

  • Retail followed the market

  • Industry followed the employees

    • More space, new buildings

    • Good transportation access


History of the suburbs (U.S.)

  • Edge cities

    • At a new kind of crossroads

    • Subcenters instead of CBD

    • “Shadow governments”

  • Leapfrog development

    • Expensive utilities

    • Inefficient land use


Suburbs and inner cities

  • Suburban residents and jobs came from somewhere

  • Growth now limited to suburbs

  • Segregation by class, race

  • Falling tax income, rising service needs

  • Spatial mismatch: jobs moved, poor didn’t


Suburbs and inner cities

  • But agglomeration still matters

  • And immigrants still arrive in cities

  • Increasing redevelopment of downtowns

    • LoDo in Denver

    • Jack London Square in Oakland

    • Union Pacific Railyards in Sacramento


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