suburbia now

If you think the suburbs are fine as they are, then read on and have your view challenged ...  or if you would like to jump to how to shape them, then click here

Most people grow up in 'the suburbs' - we grew up there too.  Low density suburbia has an appeal, no doubt.  There is plenty of space and it can be quiet.  It can be a pretty nice place to bring up kids and a good place to be a kid, but maybe other places can do that too.   

There is a lot of information about living in the suburbs.  Some of the information is well known, some may be a little thought-provoking.  It is all backed up by data - for each attribute click through to read more.  

This area of the website gives an overview of the key attributes of suburbia.

Suburbia doesn't fit many people per unit of area.


The suburbs require a high cost of services (sewer/electricity/gas infrastructure etc) per person and per household. 

Suburbia tends to have large houses on large lots which contributes to affordability issues.

Suburbs' large lot sizes have good space around them for playing, growing veggies and it's usually really easy to park your car near your house.

Suburbia typically creates car-dependent lives for their residents

The suburbs are not the most environmenatlly sustainable form of development.

The suburbs create relatively empty, socially isolating places, which usually require travel to meet people.

Because of attributes #5 and #7, suburbia creates a relatively sedentary lifestyle.


While considering Shaping Suburbia, check out some fantastic and thought-provoking images of suburbia by photograhper Andrew Merry can be found at

  • Jeb Brugman: Author of "Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How cities are changing the world"
  • "Unless significant changes are made to the way we shape and build our cities, the 21st century looks bleak for Australia". This is the sharp outlook of Reshaping Cities for a More Sustainable Future, a CSIRO study that explored the integral links between urban form, energy and air quality."Reshpaing the future of our cities" :