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Suburbanization in United States

In the United States, suburbanization in the twentieth century was highly influenced by technological developments and numerous social changes that took place in the better part of the century. In essence, the development of suburbs was highly influenced by development of infrastructure especially rail lines and roads. In this regard, suburbs can be referred to as road suburbs, freeway suburbs among others in respect to the infrastructure behind the development of the specific suburb.

Moreover, the development of suburbs was also influenced by other factors such as the personal income of individuals and the ethnic heritage of such individuals. In essence, there were those suburbs that resided only individuals of the same ethnic groups though this has greatly changed with new socio-cultural and technological developments. Moreover, in the earlier twentieth century, there existed certain philosophies which coupled by the high cost of living in the city centers encouraged individuals to live outside the cities.

These forms of philosophies were further to be reinforced by the need for regional and urban planning in the late twentieth century thus people sought to develop homes and area of residence outside the urban areas (Kenneth, 1985). The process of suburbanization was faced with many problems especially ethnic and racial problems. In essence, the immigration of African Americans, Jews and Asians among other in the suburb areas was initially faced with a lot of opposition from the whites.

In essence, it is believed that the movement of African American from southern cities to northern cities was one of the contributors of suburbanization. As the latter moved in the northern cities, the whites started to consider the cities as unsafe and crime ridden. As a result, they started to move out of the cities. However, other factors also forced the blacks to follow suit in search for a cheaper and a more comfortable life. The blacks started to own land as a symbol of equality with the white and consequently, there arose African American suburbs.

The development of good transportation system helped these blacks and other ethnic groups to commute easily from the suburbs to the cities to work and then back again. However, the movements of these other groups to the suburbs also meant that they had to live in racially and ethnically segregated areas where interactions with each other were minimal. This also meant that the groups had to develop their own suburbs thus increase of suburb areas outside the urban area (Kenneth, 1985).

Furthermore, the process of urbanization in the middle and late twentieth century also was a vital contributor to the development of suburbs in the United States. For example, the development of Disneyland and Phoenix which were originally designed to attract tourists, middle income earners and the retired to facilitate the changing of the surrounding environment (Kenneth, 1985). Finally, the role of the government cannot be ignored in the process of suburbanization in United States.

In essence, the policies adopted by the government to improve infrastructure and to well plan the urban areas contributed largely to suburbanization process. In addition, the underwriting of mortgages for certain family home in the suburbs by the government also played a big role in the development of suburbs. In conclusion, suburbanization process resulted from a combination of factors all of which played important roles in the development of suburbs in United States.

Reference: Kenneth Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University, 1985.

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