Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Suburbs - the growth and characteristics of


Since the early 20th century, cities have continued to grow outwards into the countryside. This is the process of suburbanisation as new residential areas are created at the edge of the city. This new growth surrounded the old industries and low-class residential areas giving them an inner-city location. In the 1920s/30s many of the middle classes moved out of the inner city areas buying houses along main roads / railway routes from the centre (ribbon development)

Reasons for Suburban Growth:

  1. Better public transport and increased car ownership meant people could separate work from where they live
  2. Building societies provided mortgages making it easier to buy homes
  3. People were better off and looking for a better living environment
The continued outward growth of cities is also known as urban sprawl. Early suburban growth (1920s/30s) forms the inner suburbs, as it has now been encircled by further growth (1960s/1980s) which form the outer suburbs.

Characteristics of the Inner Suburbs

Although some inter-war housing was built as estates, ribbon development, laong main roads into the city was common. The photograph below is a typical example of a inner suburban landscape (with housing dating back to the 1920s/30s). Compared to the inner city there is much greater owner-occupancy as people bought their own homes.

The typical characteristics associated with the inner suburbs are shown below (photo courtesey of :


Urban Sprawl has continued to enlarge towns and cities, with continued growth at the rural-urban fringe (where the countryside meets the urban area). Residential development on thsi outer fringe forms the outer suburbs. As a result of policies in the 1960s to clear inner city slums, some outer city council estates can be found in these areas.

There are also many private residential estates. Many of these estates were built between the 1960s and 1980s and provide high-quality, low density housing. There is more open space avaialble and a much higher quality living environment. The houses are large and usually either semi-detached or detached. The houses have gardens and garages and are modern in design as well as the amenities they provide. The photograph below highlights the main characteristics that are typical of housing in the outer suburbs.

The typical characteristics associated with outer suburb areas are shown below (photo courtesey of :

Follow up Links:

Urban Land-use Model (GeoBytes)

Key Term Check:

Inner Suburbs -
residential area surrounding the inner city, characterised by semi-detached houses and tree-lined streets
Outer Suburbs - residential area towards the edge of a city, characterised by larger often detached houses and modern housing estates.
Urban Sprawl
- the uncontrolled growth of an urban area into the surrounding countryside
- an area of housing

No comments: