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Urban Studies Essay on Suburb Residential

Suburb Residential

  1. Original Short Entry

From the reading, the trend that is most explored is the shifting demographics of the United States in relation to the construction,  housing costs as well as the preferences of consumers. It is surprising to me how the cities in the US have been developing and the great impact that the suburbs have had on their growth and expansion. In fact, considering the relationship between the two factors, it is not easy to speculate on the long term effects of the trend on the United States. This is the reason why I decided to focus on the subject.

At first, Americans would opt to live in big houses in secluded areas. However, this has changed over time. In fact, quite a number of Americans have been steadily moving into suburbs for the past sixty years. It is reported that the dream of suburbs began way back in 1939 (Leinberger, 2008). This significantly changed the landscape of suburbs, leaving behind cities. This kind of transformation is said to have taken approximately half a century to complete. The first impacts is that many people began, followed by retail businesses and jobs relocating out of the cities to new subdivisions, office parks, and shopping malls. The moving families left behind the old-fashioned real estate, with proper residential base that was often faced with lots of criminal activities. The move shot down the central-city retail districts. It is reported that towards the end of 1970s, anyone looking for safety and better schools had to migrate to the suburbs (Leinberger, 2008).

Despite all the above, the situation has changed quite significantly. There have been numerous cases of vacant suburban homes as well as a decline in suburban developments. I feel that this has been mainly impacted by the economic crisis that swept across the country. Besides, it can also be blamed on the changes in the manner in which most American citizens want to work and stay. As a result of this, the cities have begun developing once again. The increasing price of many city houses is among the indicators of a high demand for city life (Orfield 2002). However, the high cost of living in cities is an encouraging factor for the growth suburban settlements. This has ensured that there are still a number of people living in suburbs. It has resulted into the transformation of the suburbs into slums, which is now faced with crime, poverty and moral decay. As a result of the increasing population, and cost of living, the US cities are soon going to be changed into suburbs or suburban areas so as to cater for the high demands of houses.

  1. Reaction

‘’Suburban Residential: Keeping it in the Family’’ 

Based on the reading, it is undoubted that there has been an upsurge in the demand for modern multifamily homes across the country. Besides, I also agree that the cultural effect of the above trend is not a surprise in itself. This is because it has been a common occurrence throughout the history of the United States. Another fact is that the allowance of ancillary by the public officials and addition of settlements has to some extent inspired the investors to adopt this trend in America (Orfield, 2002).

The traditional flats have positively impacted the industry because of their idea of housing a single family in one house. However, I do not agree with the fact that municipalities and individuals have been traditionally opposing the idea of the implementation of granny flats. It is evident from the reading that there are cities, which accommodate the multigen plans through these flats. Even though it was initially discouraged outside the state of California, this trend is now highly proposed.

I do not dispute the fact that construction of the granny flats is offering an opportunity for the single-family suburban homes for retrofitting. This is pursued so as to enable them prepare for a future that is more sustainable.



Leinberger, C. (2008, March 1). The Next Slum?. The Atlantic. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from

Orfield, M. (2002). American metropolitics: the new suburban reality. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.


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