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Exurbs

  • By: Jeff R. Crump
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Exurbia is low-density residential development that occurs at the suburban edge of metropolitan regions. The stereotypical vision of exurban life includes large homes on spacious lots, family life centered on the home, and a desire to escape from the urban ills of crowding, crime, and congestion. However, in contrast to those who see paradise in the guise of exurbia, critics of exurban development contend that such low-density landscapes are simply a form of sprawl where resources are squandered on large lots and long commutes.

Exurban areas are characterized by high commuting flows, low housing density, and rapid population growth. According to the Brookings Institution, about 17 million people, 5.6% of the U.S. population, lived in the exurbs by 2007, compared with 14 million people in 2000. ...

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