Aerial view of suburban sprawl with large single-family homes near Dallas, Texas.

The Changing Shape of American Suburbs

Housing costs and availability are pushing more American households, including young families, to suburbs and exurbs — and they’re demanding changes.

February 13, 2024 - Business Insider

'For sale' sign with 'Sold' update in front of large single-family home with family of three walking toward house.

How the Housing Market is Driving Millennials to Exurbs

As they age and form families, millennials find it increasingly difficult to afford housing in urban areas.

January 29, 2024 - Strong Towns

Houston Sprawl

Houston Area's Center of Gravity Shifts Outside the Loop

The population center of Harris County is now outside central Houston, a shift that occurred over the last two decades as the region's suburbs blossomed.

January 21, 2022 - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research


How COVID-19 and Skyrocketing Housing Costs Accelerated Sprawl

In search of space and affordability, American families are increasingly moving to suburbs and exurbs.

January 9, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Washington D.C. Row Houses

Report: D.C. Housing Too Decentralized

Over the last three decades, the D.C. region has seen the most development in far-flung exurbs disconnected from area jobs and transit networks.

September 2, 2021 - Brookings Institution

Atlanta Park

The Blue Beltway

Ronald Brownstein, a senior editor at The Atlantic, coins a new political-geographic term in the wake of the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections to describe a shift in the political alignment of nearly all large metropolitan areas in the nation.

January 8, 2021 - The Atlantic

Tech Shuttle

Tech Buses: Not Just for Techies, and Not Just for San Francisco

What began as Google buses, transporting highly paid engineers from San Francisco to Silicon Valley, has transformed into multi-company fleets serving white- and blue-collar workers in the 3,000-square-mile Northern California megaregion.

February 13, 2020 - Protocol

Washington D.C.

Report: D.C. Metro Area Still Needs More Housing

Despite a downtown construction boom, housing is still scarce across the Capital Region. And nearly two-thirds of new homes built since the year 2000 have been single-family structures.

June 1, 2019 - Brookings

The Villages, Florida

What Central Florida's Population Growth Reveals About U.S. Real Estate Trends

Big trends—a geographic shift back to the suburban and exurban areas and a "silver tsunami"—are apparent in population figures for two Florida locations.

April 24, 2019 - Curbed


19,000 Homes on the Edge of L.A. County Granted Initial Planning Approval

First proposed in 1999, the Centennial project has been litigated and revised for years. The county's Regional Planning Commission has recommended approval, potentially opening another layer of sprawl at the far reaches of Los Angeles County.

August 30, 2018 - Los Angeles Times

Busy City Street

Millennials Are Happier in Cities

Exurbs may be growing faster, but, when surveyed, Millennials report greater happiness in cities.

July 10, 2018 - CityLab

Target Parking Lot

6 Ways Big Box Stores Harm Communities

A compendium of big box dissent.

May 9, 2018 - Strong Towns

Exurban Development

Exurbs Growing Fast

American exurbs growing again, after brief period of urbanization.

April 4, 2018 - Brookings Institute

El Paso Exurbs

State Budget Delivered Blow to Impoverished Texas Exurbs

Along the Mexican border, Texas "colonias" have often gone without basic infrastructure. Saying it'll cut bureaucracy, Governor Greg Abbott removed funding for a program that helps residents access government services.

September 15, 2017 - Governing

Exurban California

California Growth Shows an Exurban Pattern

The "back to the city" narrative might make for good headlines, but an analysis of California's growth patterns tell a different story. Take San Diego County as an example.

May 15, 2017 - Voice of San Diego

Bay Area Extreme Commuting for the Love of Larger, Affordable Single Family Homes

It's a tradeoff that 3.9 percent of the Bay Area workforce are willing to make to own an affordable home. It's often not even a choice between living in the city or the suburbs, but the close-in suburbs or the exurbs or San Joaquin Valley.

October 4, 2015 - San Jose Mercury News

Exurbs Black and White

Homebuyers Return to the Exurbs

It's been a while since 2008, and a new crop of homeowners is colonizing the far-flung exurbs. Mostly foreclosed and even abandoned last time around, the exurbs are still a risky buy.

July 30, 2015 - Bloomberg Business

Ticky tacky

Suburbs Come Roaring Back

For nearly a decade, the narrative of the move back to the city has held sway in American life. But newly analyzed Census data indicate that the presumed death of the suburbs may have been premature.

March 30, 2015 - The Washington Post - Blogs

Seattle & Mt. Rainier

Is Big City Growth Here to Stay?

In this opinion piece, Brookings demographer William H. Frey looks at three years of census data and discusses whether urban growth will stay through the decade or whether the U.S. will return to its traditional, post-War suburban growth patterns.

June 2, 2014 - Brookings

Photo of Calgary skyline from Edworthy Park

Despite Urban Building Binge, Canada Remains a Country of Suburbs

A high-rise residential building boom has transformed the skylines of Vancouver and Toronto over the past two decades. But despite the evident rise in the popularity of urban living, Canada's suburbs and exurbs continue to dominate growth trends.

September 9, 2013 - The Vancouver Sun

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.