Joel Garreau, author of Edge Cities, succinctly summarizes three waves of U.S. suburbanization since World War II:
“First we moved our homes out past the traditional idea of what constituted a city. This was the suburbanization of America . . . after World War II.
Then we wearied of returning downtown for the necessities of life, so we moved our marketplaces out to where we lived. This was the malling of America, especially in the 1960s and 1970s.
Today, we have moved our means of creating wealth, the essence of urbanism â— our jobs â— out to where most of us have lived and shopped for two generations.” . . .
HISTORICAL METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT
Our current metropolitan form has been shaped by [many] forces. Watershed influences include the invention of the automobile assembly line (1913), federally-funded home mortgage programs (beginning in 1934), Supreme Court integration decisions (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954), and federal funding for interstate highways (Federal Aid Highway Act, 1956).
The process of historical urban growth (within the context of technological change and other influences) in this region has been classified into four major categories. . . .
· inner cities or urban cores (largely built out by 1900), which contain the historic core of the region, including Oakland and San Francisco;
· inner suburbs (developed between 1900 and 1940), which typically developed around the streetcar or railroad system;
· suburbs (developed between 1940 and 1980) â— large portions of the Bay Area developed during this time period; most were designed to accommodate automobile use, and thus contain wide commercial arterials connecting to predominantly single family dwellings; and
· outer suburbs (developed after 1980), including newer residential subdivisions and commercial, retail, and service developments which are typically not interconnected; they are often isolated semi-urban developments connected by wide arterials and highways.
1. Based on this passage, what is the connection between technological change and urban growth? What other forces shape the growth of a metropolitan region?
2. Re-read the quote by Joel Garreau. He uses the pronoun "we" often. To whom is he referring? In other words, where in the metropolitan region do you think he lives?