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Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land, and Infrastructure in the 21st century

Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land, and Infrastructure in the 21st century

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Urbanization is at the core of the global economy today. Yet, the crucial aspect of 21st century urban development is suburbanization -- defined as an increase in non-central city population and economic activity, as well as urban spatial expansion. It includes all manner of peripheral growth: from the wealthy gated communities of Southern California, to the high rise-dominated suburbs of Europe and Canada, the exploding outskirts of Indian and Chinese cities, and the slums and squatter settlements in Africa and Latin America. Suburbanism is the growing prevalence of qualitatively distinct suburban ways of life. This Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) is the first major research project to systematically take stock of worldwide developments. Recent forms of urbanization and emerging forms of (sub)urbanism are analyzed as well as the dilemmas of aging suburbanity. Broad focus is made on the governance of suburbanization, that is, efforts to guide and regulate its development. It involves state, market and civil society actors and implies democratic deliberation and social conflict. The categories land, which includes housing, shelter systems, real estate, greenbelts, megaprojects, and infrastructure, including transportation, water and social services, serve as the two prime anchors upon which specific research projects are hinged. Examination of Canadian suburbanization and suburbanism will serve as a basis and comparative control case to understand suburbanization in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Researcher: PI: Roger Keil, Co-PIs: Ute Lehrer, Lisa Drummond, Shubhra Gururani, and Douglas Young, Collaborators: Liette Gilbert and Stefan Kipfer (York)

Project Theme: Urban Planning