In our last newsletter we talked about neighborhoods and why they are important. We challenged you to walk the neighborhood that you got data about, with a friend. Walking different parts on different days and asking God to show you things. Afterwards you were to fill out the Urban Survey.
In this newsletter, we are going to talk about suburbs. Suburbs are the communities surrounding cities that are usually made up of single-family homes, but are increasingly including multifamily homes and places like malls and office buildings. Emerging in the 1850s as a result of a fast rising urban population and improving transportation technology, suburbs have remained a popular alternative to the city even today. As of 2000, about half of the population of the United States lived in suburbs.
Suburbs are generally spread out over greater distances than other types of living environments. A common dream shared among people of all cultures is to have a piece of land to call their own. The suburbs are the place that many urban dwellers turn to because it offers the space needed to satisfy these dreams. Most have lower population densities than inner city neighborhoods. Cars are common in suburbs as people often need to commute to their employment. Transportation often includes, to a limited extent, trains and buses.
People like to decide for themselves how to live and what rules to live by. Suburbs offer them this independence. Local governance is common here in the form of community councils, forums, and elected officials. A good example of this is a Home Owners Association, a group common to many suburban neighborhoods that determines specific rules for the type, appearance, and size of homes in a community.
People living in the same suburb often share similar backgrounds with regard to race, socioeconomic status, and age. Often, the houses that make up the area are similar in appearance, size, and blueprint, a layout design referred to as tract housing, or cookie-cutter housing.
Watch this video for more about suburbs.