The Many Faces of Exurbia

While the South is king when it comes to exurbs (low density, with workers who mostly commute to an urban area), the exurban experience has many faces, including small town New England.

Writer James Barilla is dismayed to find that his hometown in rural New England qualifies as an exurb under the definition put forward by the Brookings Institution (communities that "have at least 20 percent of their workers commuting to jobs in an urbanized area, exhibit low housing density, and have relatively high population growth."):

"Is my dad's small town an exurb? According to the Brookings study, nearly half of the nation's 10.8 million exurbanites live in the South; fewer than 5 percent live in New England. The exurban South is growing fast, thanks to the availability of zoning-free open space and a regional population explosion. Cities in the Northeast already have established bedroom communities, suburbs that should limit exurban growth. Surprisingly, however, Worcester, Massachusetts, where my dad works, ranks eighth in the nation among exurban metro areas; its 20 percent exurban population puts it right behind Birmingham, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tennessee. My dad's long commute is more typical than I had imagined."

Full Story: The Road to Exurbia

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95