Sociology

The Rise of Suburbia in America



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Suburbia provided a backing away from the hard choices between compressed urban and isolated country living. The American suburb is a happy medium, where the population density per square mile allows people to have their own little space on the planet, while not living on top of each other.

The interaction with nature is far greater than in the cities because of the lower building profiles, the large proportion of parks to housing, and the larger amount of personal yard space. But the burdens of  interacting with nature are far less than having acres of land in the country and the neighbors are closer, which is a combination that pleases social people.

Americans are perpetually on the hunt for housing that gives them more space, safety, quality, and ease of living for the price. Invariably this means moving away from the congestion of urban living and into the newest of housing developments. As the newest of housing developments age, they can deteriorate into unsafe and declining neighborhoods, or they can remain viable and desirable. In a different twist, older suburban neighborhoods that have gone through decline can be refurbished and repopulated by more prosperous people under a process called "gentrification". Thus, suburbs go through cycles of invention and of reinvention.Whenever a new housing development is being planned and zoned, the public becomes highly interested in the effect on the region, especially with respect to the increased contribution to and burden on services, schools, waste management, water and power use, crime, jobs, and transportation. As a result in the more advanced states of the union, there is much scrutiny over the planning, layout, and financing of the larger government, social and physical infrastructure that is required to support the development.

Thus, the suburbs rise, but each new or refurbished suburb features the newest of technology in its development. There are parks, protected areas that will never be developed, and landscaping that makes for incredible mixes of plants, structures and humans. The landscaping and open spaces serve as habitat for all forms of local species, even though such problems as raccoons, pumas, larger mammals and poisonous snakes may suffer from having their roaming grounds taken away or disrupted.

The rise and refurbishment of suburbs is enhanced with the housing being made safer and more improved during each cycle because of the extensive and constantly updated county and local building codes and planning and zoning processes. As more environmental studies are required and as lessons are learned, even the effects on habitat are considered.

In summary, today's American suburb is more likely to include protected open space, large habitats and micro habitats than ever before. As for human micro habitats, it only takes a look into the lives of teenagers, the backyard activities and what goes on at the community schools and centers of commerce to see that the American suburb offers so much that leaving them for anything but vacations or business in the urban centers is a rare necessity.


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