chapter  14
38 Pages

American and Global Suburbanization Patterns

The suburb is defined both in terms of its spatial location and its symbolic meaning. Following Robert Park’s dictum that the “city is a state of mind,” Kenneth T. Jackson, who has written the definitive history of American suburbia, states, “Suburbia is both a planning type and a state of mind based on imagery and symbolism” (Jackson 1985:4-5). Building on that point, the urban architect and critic Robert A. M. Stern echoes the “state of mind based on imagery and symbolism” assessment and goes on to observe that “[s]uburbia’s curving roads and tended lawns, its houses with pitched roofs, shuttered windows, and colonial or otherwise elaborated doorways all speak of communities which value the tradition of the family, pride of ownership and rural life” (Stern cited in Rybczynski 1995:179).