Between Utopia and Non Place – Contemporary Suburban Space

Sara Ursic

Abstract


Space on the urban edge as well as settlements that are part of that space are considered to be specific contemporary socio-spatial laboratories. Edge settlements, towns or villages, are affected by the central city which penetrates into its surroundings in multiple ways, some of which are visible, spatial transformations, but many are manifested at symbolic level and therefore represent a set of relationships that define space. The definition of suburbanization and all other related processes is based on the analysis of the key concepts such as urbanization, space and place and the consequences for the urban and suburban everyday life that emerge from the reconceptualization of those concepts. Starting from the presumption that we are all witnessing planetary suburbanism, this paper analyzes the process of suburbanization and focuses on contemporary spatial trends in edge settlements. Suburbanization processes are studied from a sociological perspective, which implies the expansion of the urban way of life and departure from strict definitions of cities and their surroundings by stressing the permeability of the urban boundaries in contemporary spatial classification. In this paper, the author attempts to explain the main agents of suburbanization and its socio-spatial results by rethinking the process of suburbanization through process dynamics, spatial and social dynamics as well as through research of the conceptual and semantic richness that has emerged in recent decades.

Keywords


suburbanization; suburbs; edge space; non place; city

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