Thursday, September 24, 2009

Boomburbs teaching how to run cities

Browsing the new books at the University of Canberra library recently, I came across "Boomburbs: The Rise of America's Accidental Cities (James a Johnson Metro)" (Robert E. Lang; Jennifer Lefurgy, Brookings Institution Press, 2007).This argues that suburbs outside established cities have expanded to be cities in their own right. These cities do not get much attention as they do not have clearly identifiable city centres with large buildings and monuments. Instead they have suburbs with small commercial sites near freeway off ramps. While it would be easy to just critique undifferentiated urban sprawl covering the landscape, with strip shopping, there are some positives in the boomburbs. Some of the new cities have interesting administrative structures, such as outsourced services. Some emphasise the use of "home-owners associations" to deal with some of the provision of services and decision making, like Australian "bodies corporate".

Some topics: boomburbs, edgeless cities, favoured quarter, phoenix region, accidental cities, housing hardship, unincorporated places, reluctant cities, panoramic maps, unincorporated land, urban realms, growth counties, homeowners associations

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