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Not Your Father's Suburbs

<p>Next American City reflects on the changing face of suburbia.</p>
July 21, 2008, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"(T)he American suburbs have grown so immense and diverse, now housing more than half the U.S. population, that no out-of-date stereotypes can capture their complexity, meaning or future direction.

For example, according to Census data, the number of single people living in the suburbs continues to grow. In fact, some suburbs now have more single households than families with children. Another example: The suburbs in all big metropolitan areas except New York and Chicago contain more office space than the regions' central business districts.

American suburbs now have essentially the same elements that make a place urban - just arranged in a way that differs enough from traditional central cities.

"Cosmoburbs" is the term used in the forthcoming book "Boomburbs: The Rise of America's Accidental Cities" to describe wealthy suburbs that are also diverse and that increasingly contain non-traditional households. Leading examples around the nation include Naperville, Ill., Plano, Texas, Bellevue, Wash., and Lakewood and Aurora in Colorado."

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Published on Friday, July 18, 2008 in The Next American City
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