Rendering of a mixed use development with a theatre, restaurant, and residential units above

Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places

The economic, demographic, and technological forces reshaping suburbs are under-reported and misunderstood. Learn how suburbs can manage change while enhancing livability, economic opportunity, and fiscal responsibility.

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Course Info

  • Duration 6 video lessons (63 Mins)
  • Published Published
  • Trending Trending
  • 4.54
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    Chapter Duration 2 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    A Quick History: The Rise of Suburbs to The Pandemic
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    Rapidly Changing Suburban Markets
    Chapter Duration 15 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    A New Suburban Dream: The Challenges Are The Opportunity
    Chapter Duration 16 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    A New Suburban Dream: The Challenges Are The Opportunity, Part II
    Chapter Duration 12 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    The Unmet Challenge: Equity
    Chapter Duration 10 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?

Course Description

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

  • Demographics
  • Development
  • Economic Development
  • Housing
  • Land Use
  • Pedestrian Planning
  • Regional Planning
  • Site Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Urbanism
  • Walkability
  • Zoning Codes


This course is approved for 1 AICP CM credit.


This course is 1 LU.


This course is approved for 1 SACPLAN CPD point.

Meet Your Instructor

David Dixon

David Dixon

David is well known for helping create new, mixed-use urban districts (in both cities and suburbs) and the planning, revitalization, and redevelopment of downtowns.

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