In the 21st century the suburbs often get a bad rap. Thus the online Urban Dictionary, a slangy compendium created by volunteers, defines “suburb” as “a mind-numbingly dull place located on the outskirts of a larger, and probably more interesting, city. Completely devoid of culture, activities, black people, good coffee, independent business and pedestrians.” This may be disregarded as the smug slur of a publication whose title alone indicates its bias.
Increasingly clear are the health consequences in suburbs. All the cars create congested streets, which engender air pollution and stressful commutes. The people in those cars are sitting, not walking. Basic exercise thus is not an incidental part of daily life but a discrete event—trips to the gym or park--that suburbanites must program into schedules already tight because of all the time spent sitting in cars. Cities clearly will not abandon their suburbs, nor scrape them and start over. What we must do is reshape them.
Suburban Community Basic Characteristics:
- Single-family residences predominate in low to moderate density patterns.
- Condominium and apartment complexes, in the suburbs that permit them, are frequently clustered adjacent to major roadways.
- Typically, though not necessarily, suburbs are commuter communities.
- Many amenities, including retail, food, entertainment and commercial facilities. These are located in malls, commercial strips, and stand-alone lots, none of which are easy to access other than by car.
- Access to institutions such as churches and schools primarily via automobile.
- Increasing congestion on arterials and major collector roads.
- Limited public transportation.
Focus Factors: Walkability, Housing, Transportation
Madison is a bedroom community with a need for...
As a prioritized transportation route in NashvilleNext, this area will...
More on the suburban transect: