Historically, we see the city as the cramped, crumbling core of development and culture, and the suburb as the vast outlying wasteland – convenient, but vacant. Contemporary urban design proves this wrong. In New SubUrbanisms, Judith De Jong explains the on-going "flattening" of the American Metropolis, as suburbs are becoming more like their central cities – and cities more like their suburbs through significant changes in spatial and formal practice as well as demographic and cultural changes. These revisionist practices are exemplified in the emergence of hybrid sub/urban conditions such as parking practices, the residential densification of suburbia, hyper-programmed public spaces and inner city big-box retail, among others.
Each of these hybridized conditions reflects to varying degrees the reciprocating influences of the urban and the suburban. Each also offers opportunities for innovation in new formal and spatial practices that re-configure conventional understandings of urban and suburban, and in new ways of forming the evolving American metropolis. Based on this new understanding, De Jong argues for the development of new ways of building the city. Aimed at students and practitioners of urban design and planning New SubUrbanisms attempts to re-frame the contemporary metropolis in a way that will generate more instrumental engagement – and ultimately, better design.