- 6 video lessons (63 Mins)
Browse Course Chapters
2.A Quick History: The Rise of Suburbs to The Pandemic6 mins
3.Rapidly Changing Suburban Markets15 mins
4.A New Suburban Dream: The Challenges Are The Opportunity16 mins
5.A New Suburban Dream: The Challenges Are The Opportunity, Part II12 mins
6.The Unmet Challenge: Equity10 mins
What You Will Learn
- What are the primary economic, demographic, and technological forces reshaping suburbs?
- In what ways is climate change a suburban issue?
- How much have suburbs already changed since 2000 in terms of demographics, housing values, employment, and similar measures?
- What are the chief opportunities facing suburbs—ranging from high income suburbs in regions with strong economies to struggling rust belt suburbs?
- …and the emerging challenges?
- How can suburbs plan to manage change in ways that create enhanced livability, economic opportunity, fiscal responsibility, and better meet other community goals?
The traditional “American Dream” that inspired most of today’s suburbs was defined by homogeneity and symbolized by single-family homes, white picket fences, and cars in driveways. Today, roughly two-thirds of North Americans live in suburbs—and also in single-family detached houses. Yet the traditional American Dream is now dead. A 2016 survey of affluent Americans, a demographic with a suburban lifestyle by default for decades, found that they no longer list suburban living among their top terms to describe the American Dream.
This shift in preference does not condemn suburbs to the dustbin of history, however. As documented in this course, suburbs now face a new era of unparalleled opportunity. These new opportunities are not the result of the early pandemic rush to buy suburban houses. Rather, years of historically low interest rates and the largest generation in U.S. history have unleashed unprecedented amounts of pent-up demand. Suburbs are ready for a new, far more resilient, chapter. The future of suburbs will be shaped by the same economic, demographic, technological, and environmental forces that spurred a renaissance in urban neighborhoods and downtowns across North America.
“Suburban Remix” optimistically chronicles this new story about how suburbs can make a conscious choice to plan to become as central to society as they were for much of the latter half of the 20th century. Without damaging a blade of grass on a single front lawn, suburbs across North America can transform tens of millions of acres of “grayfields”—outmoded malls, strip centers, office parks, and similar outmoded places—into a new generation of compact, dense, walkable, mixed-use, urban, places that accommodate multiple versions of the American Dream.
Use coupon code PLANETIZEN to save 30% on Suburban Remix from Island Press.
Learn these skills
- Economic Development
- Land Use
- Pedestrian Planning
- Regional Planning
- Site Planning
- Urban Design
- Zoning Codes