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Policy Debate Essay

Suburbanization describes a process of movement of population from cities and towns to the fringes of rural-urban. Jackson (2007) asserts that most residents in the metropolises only work within the central urban areas but choose instead to living in satellite societies or suburbs and commute to their place of work via public transport or automobiles. Others people having taken advantage of advanced technology prefer to work from their houses, by choosing an environment considered to be more pleasant than in the cites.

These happens in developed countries, especially the USA where the majority of the populace live in suburbs, where by 2000, nearly half the population lived in suburban areas. Government policy influences significantly suburbanization as a process. For instance the Federal government’s post WW II policies in the United States, like the building of superhighways and efficient road networks, mortgage underwriting for one-family home in suburbs, influenced enormously the pace at which suburbanization grew in the country.

This was an encouragement by the government for the middle and working class to leave the inner city and relocate in the suburbs, with the city centre viability being affected devastatingly. By improving the transport system suburbanization encouraged, because people are increasingly empowered to

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accesses shopping malls and live in suburbs and also commute towns or cities for work. Development in railway network, roads and bus terminals form the basis that makes suburban life more practical what is termed as suburban sprawl.

This term urban sprawl has generally been associated with negative connotations because of the health and environmental problems and issues that are created by sprawl. Residents of sprawling neighborhoods tend to emit more pollution per person and suffer more traffic fatalities. As a result of this, a recent phenomenon called edge cities has arisen in American suburban areas, they stand from out as clusters of office accommodating buildings constructed around shopping malls and or commercial strips.

The increases in the number of jobs and opportunities being located in these edges rather than being sited in the city centre that gave birth to suburbs and traffic patterns, which for several years depended on commuters are becoming more complex, with the increasing volume traffic operating between city centers and intra-suburban (Wiese2005). Similarly, the increase in efficiency of express package delivery mechanism and systems, such as Untitled Parcel Service and Federal express the US serve to eliminate a few advantages only experienced by businesses that were located centers of cities.

The sole effect of such developments creates an advantage for businesses and individuals to locate to suburbs, where land is cheap, abundant rent space, and fair operating costs as compared to the city. The realization of the need for a population density of a certain degree to be present in the city centre to create a good and conducive environment for urban work, has forced some urban centers in recent times to adopt policies (green belt) that limit growth in the edge of cities to encourage and increase growth in the urban cores.

Conclusion Recent advancement in communication technology, such as video conferencing, e-mail and the spreading broadband service, enables most people to do work from their homes in the suburbs rather than commute daily to the cities. Although the occurrence of such can either happens in the suburbs or in cities, is has generally decentralizing effect, this works against the vast advantages of the urban core, which enjoys easy access to supplies and information because of centralization.


Briggs, X. (1998). , Housing Mobility and the Many Faces of Social Capital. Housing Policy Debate, Vol. (9) Buron, L. (2004). Neighborhood Outcomes for HOPE VI Relocatees. Washington DC: Urban Institute Curley, A. M (2005). Theories of urban poverty and implications for public housing policy. Journal of sociology and social welfare, Vol. 6 (8) Jackson, K. (2007). The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press Wiese, A. (2005). Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century Chicago. University of Chicago Press

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