SUBURBS

The Suburbs: In Constant Evolution

By MIREILLE PAQUET

The suburbs are the residential areas surrounding cities. They are usually constituted of single-family homes and they also have some particular characteristics. Houses and people in the suburbs usually look all the same. Suburban areas are, for most families, a good alternative to cities. But when and why did these communities emerge?

It all started in the 19th century as a result of an improving of transportation technologies. It was only after the general implantation of electric railways that suburbs began to grow extensively. Henry Ford and the U.S. government helped a lot in the development of suburbia. Henry Ford’s idea of making cars was appreciated by those who needed to go to work each and every day. People could live outside the city and still drive to work easily without having to deal with all the noises and dust present near the industry they worked in.  The government, for its part, made it more affordable for a family to build a house outside the city than improving their own house in the city.

After the end of World War I, the population rapidly expanded and people needed places to live in. The economic boom following WWI had a big impact on the choices of family homes. Since suburban area houses were cheaper, many families decided to move in them. It was an excellent place to live in because of the proximity of schools, churches and parks. After the end of World War II in the United States, more than 2 million couples were married and 21 million babies were born causing the baby boom. New married couples with their newborn baby all wanted to live in a house instead of living in a small apartment that they had to rent. They, for sure, decided to move outside the city to assure a friendly, secure and pleasant life for their little families.   

Now, the suburbs are popular because of the opportunities they give but they have changed a bit since they were created. In suburban areas, we can now find malls and multifamily houses. They often connect metropolitan regions and they also provide easier access to industrial workplaces. For example, in the United States, more jobs are now located in suburban areas than in cities because of the movement of the commercial and industrial parks from the inside to the outside of the cities. It is more beneficial for Americans to live in the suburbs for jobs and also for the security and proximity that the suburbs offer.

For about 200 years, the suburbs have become the most populated areas around cities. Almost every city in the world has its own suburb outside the city. They are friendly, secure and pleasant areas. They offer most of what a family needs to be happy. But, I wonder if, in the future, people will still pay to have the same look as their neighbor's house?

 

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