Suburbanization

Ken Keller DHS - 2004

Suburbanization Question
The development of suburbs in North American metropolitan areas has greatly accelerated since the 1950s and 1960s.

How have the following contributed to this acceleration.
(1) (2) (3) (4) Transportation Housing production Landscape preference Social and demographic trends

 Critical elements     Social stratification Long history dating from railroad and streetcar suburbs Phenomenon of the masses since 1950s .Definition Movement of upper and middle-class people from core areas to surrounding outskirts. The process began in the mid-nineteenth century but became a mass phenomenon in the late-twentieth century.

Why is this a significant geographic question?  Post-War suburbanization represents a huge change in the distribution of the nation’s population. .

suburban population grew from 26.7% in 1950 to 49. Pop.The U.8% in 2000. Suburbs. S. in Cities. and Nonmetro Areas 1950 to 2000 160 140 In millions of people 120 100 80 60 40 20 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 central cities suburbs nonmetro years .

 It has important consequences for how society uses its land resource.  .Why is this a significant geographic question? Post-War suburbanization represents a huge change in the distribution of the nation’s population.

.Phoenix as a case study. Suburbanization is a land-hungry process.

.Suburbanization as a mass phenomenon after 1950.

Phoenix grew by 1 million between 1990 and 2000. .

and culture.  It has important consequences for how society uses its land resource.  . society.  It is the physical manifestation of changes in economy.Why is this a significant geographic question? Post-War suburbanization represents a huge change in the distribution of the nation’s population.

Transportation Freeways and transport corridors increased accessibility of the suburbs. (3) recreational automobiles between 1920 and 1950. (2) electric streetcars between 1890 and 1920.4 stages of urban development --(1) pedestrian and horsecar travel from 1800 to 1890.  Critical link between transportation technology and urban form -. and (4) freeways from 1950 to present.  .

4 stages of urban transportation development .

. self-sufficient entities.Suburbs evolved from “sub” “urbs” to freestanding.

 Mass produced styles made housing cheaper and more affordable. FHA and VA loans guaranteed creditors security on their loans by reducing down payments and extending repayment period. 70% of new homes were constructed by 10% of builders.Mass production of housinghousing supply issues Housing was produced by large developers on large tracts of cheap land.6% in 1940 to 65.5% in 2000.  Homeownership increased from 43.  Post-war mortgage programs.  .

American Dream .

Hector St.Landscape preferences – housing demand issues   Jeffersonian democracy fostered a powerful rural ideal. cultural values:      Love of newness Desire to be near nature Freedom to move Competitive urge Sense of destiny  Suburbs are portrayed in the 1950s media as the ideal American lifestyle -. Cities were a necessary evil.Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best. . Urge to make them as non-city-like as possible. 18th Century French traveler. Jean de Crevecoeur summarized Am.

.Leave it to Beaver (19571964) The Cleavers lived in the generic suburb of Mayfield.

Father Knows Best (19541962) The Andersons lived in Springfield. .

Gilmore Girls. Everwood – mythical small town ideal  .How about today’s TV shows? Friends – New York City  Will and Grace – New York City  ER – Chicago  Providence – Providence  Ed.

Social and demographic trends High fertility of the baby boom era raised the demand for housing.  The nuclear family replaced the extended family as the ideal.  Large families demanded large homes. and automobile – cult of domesticity. Suburban location gave them home.  Prevailing model of male breadwinner and women as homemakers.  . garden.

5 3 2. US Total Fertility Rate 1940-2000 4 Total Fertility Rate 3.Fertility peaks at 3.5 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 1945 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 TFR Year .5 2 1.77 in 1957.

Percent of Married Women in Labor Force 70 60 Percent 50 40 30 20 10 1940 1947 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 1944 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 year Married Women .Married women as homemakers in the 1950s.

S.  . housing policy. 50% of population lives in suburbs. and demographic change. became a suburban nation. residential preferences.  Growth of suburbs reveals societal forces – transportation technology.Conclusions Between 1950 and 2000. the U.

state.Discussion Questions  What are the consequences of mass suburbanization for N. American society?     Plight of central cities Urban sprawl Social fragmentation Local. and national politics  Will the trend toward suburbanization continue? Think about the forces that created mass suburbanization. Will they continue? .

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