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Suburbanization can be viewed as the decentralization of the city and the town, and decentralization has been a feature of urban life for as long as there have been towns and cities. A variety of causes explain suburbanization, but social and technological determinants are particularly significant and are emphasized in this entry.

Suburbanization creates suburbs, a plural noun that refers particularly to the residential zones of suburbanites beyond the city centers. Many retain an economic dependency upon city centers as places of employment or consumption, whereas other suburbs are less connected. While suburbia is a collective noun for suburbs, it also describes their cultural and environmental character. In many countries, however, suburbia is a pejorative term as much as a descriptive one. The adjective suburban ...

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