Infinite Suburbia

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The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Infinite Suburbia, a collection edited by Alan M. Berger and Joel Kotkin, with Celina Balderas Guzaman:

"Global urbanization is heading toward infinite suburbia. Around the world, the vast majority of people are moving to cities not to inhabit their centers but to suburbanize their peripheries. Thus, when the United Nations projects the number of future "urban" residents, or when researchers quantify the amount of land that will soon be "urbanized," these figures largely reflect the unprecedented suburban expansion of global cities. By 2030, an estimated nearly half a million square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) of land worldwide will become urbanized, especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In the United States alone, an additional 85,000 square miles (220,000 square kilometers) of rural land will be urbanized between 2003 and 2030. Given that these figures represent the conversion of currently rural land at the urban fringe, these lands are slated to become future suburbias. Even so, many countries are already majority suburban. In the United States, 69 percent of the population lives in suburbs. As late as 2010, over 75 percent of American jobs lay outside the urban core. Many other developed countries are also majority-suburban. In the Global South, it is estimated 45 percent of the 1.4 billion people who become new urban residents will settle in peri-urban suburbs. The sheer magnitude of land conversion taking place, coupled with the fact that the majority of the world’s population already lives in suburbs, demands that new attention and creative energy be devoted to the imminent suburban expansion."

Infinite Suburbia will be available for sale this week through the Princeton Architectural Press website. You can find the link here.