Retrofitting Suburbia For Health

Scenarios for neighbourhood planning

Authored by: Hugh Barton , Marcus Grant

The Routledge Handbook Of Planning For Health And Well-Being

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138023307
eBook ISBN: 9781315728261
Adobe ISBN: 9781317542407


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Suburbia is often sidelined in planning discussion as being neither city nor country – but the majority of people in high-income countries live in suburbia. Estimates for England vary widely, up to 86 per cent of the population (Civic Trust 2002). This high figure reflects a definition of suburb that includes all the urban areas developed since the First World War, plus the dispersed commuter villages and estates, which we will call ‘exurbs’. While the concept of suburbia is rather amorphous, the image is one of staid affluence. That has led some urban commentators to disparage them. Jane Jacobs, for example, is reported as saying ‘Suburbs are perfectly valid places to live, but are inherently parasitic, economically and socially.’ 1

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