Edge cites revisited: the restless suburban landscape

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matthew Thomas Catanzarite (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Selima Sultana

Abstract: Edge cities characterized by high wage office based industries are of particular interest to planners since they reflect the type of development often associated with economic growth in the suburban landscape, but not well understood as shown by the debate over edge and edgeless cities. Very little research has been conducted that looks specifically to address whether Garreau's edge cities of the 90's have improved upon the concerns raised by critics in an effort to further replicate a traditional historical Central Business District (CBD) and sustain future growth or whether suburban landscapes have continued to resemble the edge city pattern at all. Very specifically, this thesis examines the following questions: (1) Can the combination of employment and population data be used to differentiate between edge and edgeless developments? (2) To what extent have edge cities of the 90's adapted to further replicate traditional historical urban employment centers and to sustain future growth? (3) Have suburban landscapes continued to resemble the edge city, edgeless city or office sprawl pattern? (4) Can the existence and use of alternative/active transportation influence the development of edge cities? (5) Will edge cities of suburban Atlanta continue to develop relying on implementation of smart urbanism concepts and alternative transportation options? This research aimed at determining accurate geographic locations and boundaries of edge cities in the Atlanta MSA, using employment densities and characteristics, is able to precisely differentiate between areas that fit into the typology of edge cities, urban and suburban employment centers. It is clear from these findings that edge cities have yet to become the "crucible" of urban America, as Garreau advocated. What is certain is that edge cities are part of a dynamic process that parallels that of the more traditional urban core. The regard for alternative development patterns has diminished in light of recent economic and environmental trends, shown by efforts to "revitalize" existing urban landscapes and strengthen public transportation. This outlook represents a principle theme that is interwoven into this research as it applies to the sustainability of future edge city growth. The research concludes with benchmarks of measurement with the intention of providing a universal understanding as to the where and why of edge city developments in particular.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Atlanta, Edge Cities, Edgeless Cities, Employment Centers
Atlanta Metropolitan Area (Ga.)
Metropolitan areas $z Georgia
Cities and towns $z Georgia $x Growth
Sociology, Urban $z Georgia

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