Boomburbs: The Rise of America's Accidental Citiesby Robert E. Lang, Jennifer B. LeFurgy
A glance at a list of America's fastest growing "cities" reveals quite a surprise: most are really overgrown suburbs. Places such as Anaheim, North Las Vegas, Plano, Coral Springs (Florida), and Naperville (Illinois) have swelled to big city size with few people really noticing -- including many of their ten million residents. These "boomburbs" are large,… See more details below
A glance at a list of America's fastest growing "cities" reveals quite a surprise: most are really overgrown suburbs. Places such as Anaheim, North Las Vegas, Plano, Coral Springs (Florida), and Naperville (Illinois) have swelled to big city size with few people really noticing -- including many of their ten million residents. These "boomburbs" are large, rapidly growing, incorporated communities of more than 100,000 residents that are not the biggest city in their region. Here, Robert E. Lang and Jennifer B. LeFurgy explain who lives in them, what they look like, how they are governed, and why their rise calls into question the definition of urban. The paperback includes a new preface by the authors, in the wake of the 2008 elections.
"Boomburbs is an excellent adventure through the evolution of these places, the people who inhabit them, the housing typologies that went from the craftsman house to the ranch to the McMansion, and the commercial and workplace economies that have emerged along the wide arterials and left-turn lanes."
-- JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN PLANNING ASSOCIATION
"Lang and LeFurgy are that most rare of suburban chroniclers; they are describing the place based on research. Almost everyone else who weighs in on the subject, whether apologist or critic, has an ax to grind.... this is an immensely readable book for the lay person or the scholar."
-- JOURNAL OF PLANNING EDUCATION
"Urban and metropolitan studies have been mired for too long in a false dichotomy about cities and suburbs. Boomburbs is an important book because it leaves all that baggage behind and describes fast-growing American communities as they really are -- big yet small, tedious yetvibrant, pimply yet mature."
-- Bill Fulton, author of THE RELUCTANT METROPOLIS
Robert E. Lang, a well-known urban planning and policy expert, is a director of the Metropolitan Institute at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He is the author of Edgeless Cities: Exploring the Elusive Metropolis (Brookings, 2003). Jennifer B. LeFurgy is a writer and consultant in Alexandria,Virginia. She is a former deputy director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech.
Table of ContentsForeword by Ed Glaeser
2. From Settlements to Super Suburbs
3. Who Lives in the Boomburbs
4. The Business of Boomburbs
5. Big Skies, Small Lots: Boomburb Housing and Master-Planned Development
6. The Small Town Politics of Big Cities
7. Boomburbs at Buildout
8. Emerging Urban Realms and the Boomburbs of 2030
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