Edge Cities YouTube Lecture Handouts: Changing Forms, Requirements, Characteristics, Types, Effects

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Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: Edge City by Garreau

Edge City by Garreau

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Changing Forms

  • Traditional urbanization exhibits a concentration of human activities and settlements around the downtown area. When the residential area shifts outward, this is called suburbanization. A number of researchers and writers suggest that suburbanization has gone so far to form new points of concentration outside the downtown. This networked, poly-centric form of concentration is considered by some as an emerging pattern of urbanization. It is called variously, exurbia, edge city (Garreau, 1991), network city (Batten, 1995), or postmodern city (Dear, 2000). Los- Angeles is the best example of this type of urbanization.

  • NEW URBANISIM: New urbanism was a movement which started in the 1980’s. New urbanism believes in shifting design focus from the car- centric development of suburbia and the business park, concentrated pedestrian and transit- centric, walk able, mixed-use communities. New urbanism is an amalgamation of old- world design patterns, merged with present day demands. New urbanism includes people and destinations into dense, vibrant communities and decreasing dependency on vehicular transportation as the primary mode of transit.

About Edge Cities

  • Suburban business districts

  • Major diversified centers

  • Suburban cores

  • Minicities

  • Suburban activity centers

  • Cities of realms

  • Galactic cities

  • Urban subcenters

  • Pepperoni-pizza cities

  • Superburbia

  • Technoburbs

  • Nucleations

  • Disurbs

  • Service cities

  • Perimeter cities

  • Peripheral centers

  • Urban villages

  • Suburban downtowns

  • Megacenters

    • As per Garreau, “Edge Cities” are essentially regions with urban sprawl type expansion that are dense enough and populous enough to be considered “cities” even though these regions may comprise a number of automobile independent municipalities. Edge cities are defined by the deliberation of non residential clusters at the meeting point of major beltways and interstates outside the central city that are ultimately joined by high density residential development and that become quite self sufficient

    • Most of the edge cities sprout in freeway intersections which need planning or are near existing cities. They develop better when this intersection exists near a major public airport.

    • An area becomes an edge city when there is a concentration of firms, and entertainment and shopping centers in a previously known rural or residential area.

    • An edge city is an American term that thrived towards the end of the 20th Century. Its use was as a result of the popularity of Joel Garreau’s book entitled “Edge City: Life on the New Frontier” written in 1991.

    • Garreau identified 123 places in a chapter of his book called “The List” as being true edge cities and 83 up-and-coming or planned edge cities around the country. “The List” included two dozen edge cities or those in progress in greater Los Angeles alone, 23 in metro Washington, D.C., and 21 in greater New York City.

    • As far as the relation to the economic basis theory is concerned, it is emphasized that an edge city settlement is an extremely specialized centre with widely developed endogenous sphere. In addition, two kinds of edge cities may be identified. These are a service-industrial type and an industrial type (technopolis), each having a little different economic basis. Garreau’s concept is a model which can be compared with other urban models such as the central place theory, the gateway city model, the corridor city, the growth poles concept, and the centre-periphery concept.

Requirements for Edge Cities

Image of Garreau

Garreau for Edge Cities

  • Area should occupy a vast space of at least five million square feet or 465,000 square meters.

  • Area of land should be in a leasable office space.

  • Leasable retail space should be at least 56,000 square meters or 600,000 square feet.

  • Jobs should be more than the bedrooms, a strategy that ensures that they give work and business priority. The population must rise every morning and drop every afternoon.

  • Population must perceive that an edge city is a single place that is united or single end destination

  • There should be no indication that the place had been a town in the last 30 years.

Characteristics of Edge Cities

  • Newness

  • Cultureless

  • Convenience

  • Developer Dominance

  • Shadow Government

  • Social Capital

  • More Jobs Than Bedrooms

  • Retail Space

  • Proximity to a City

  • Perceived as a Place

  • Mediocrity

  • Low Cost

    • Edge cities generally imply large scale built landscapes for consumption and the excess investment of capital, iconic architecture and design and distinctive lifestyles. They also display a potential for new freedom from existing ways of building and imagining a city. Ironically, there is confusion in contemporary urban geography because these suburban megaprojects re-create so many of the traditional meanings of a city that they seem to no longer need the city or may even compete with it.

    • Edge cities are individualized socially.

3 Groups of Edge Cities

  • The most common type of edge cities are the “boomers.” A boomer is an edge city that developed gradually around a highway or shopping mall. Northern Virginia and Tysons Corner are both boomers.

  • The second type of edge cities are the “Greenfields.” They are those edge cities that rise as a result of an upcoming suburban town. Their development always and majorly lies on their suburban fringe. Reston Town is a classic example of a Greenfield.

  • Uptowns are the edge cities that grow from old cities based on their history. Another name used to refer to uptowns is satellite cities. Rosslyn–Ballston Corridor is an example of an uptown.

Effects of Global Cities

  • Edge cities are a result of decentralization of people and resources which began in the 1960s. Edge cities have led to withdrawal of workers from the metropolitan areas to them leading to a boost of their economies. Therefore, edge cities have contributed much towards urban development and business expansion.

  • As edge cities age they may develop a culture, social capital and more democratic processes.

Why Considered as Latest Generation?

  • Edge Cities represent the latest generation of North American suburbs, although their formal and functional characteristics differ so much from those of traditional suburbs - location that is exceptionally distant from urban centers, a mixture of a residential function and an office work one, an extreme dispersal that makes them merge into the natural landscape

  • Cheaper land, security, efficient land communications, advanced technological installations, and a high quality of life for their employees and executives

  • In them low elongated buildings predominate, which dot the territory separated by very wide green and parking areas.

  • The community and spatial center is generally occupied by one or various latest-generation shopping malls that owing to the inexistence of squares and avenues become the true and only public space of the Edge Cities.

  • Edge Cities require good transportation, especially automobile-based access.

  • Back in the mid-1950’s geographer Jean Gottman had identified the “megalopolis” of overlapping urban communities on the East Coast.

  • It is important to consider the impacts of the increasing population density along the I-95 and I-64 corridors as the megaloplis stretches from Washington south to Richmond and east to Virginia Beach.

Lone Eagle Cities

  • Most People Work From Home

  • “lone eagle” businesses, to borrow a phrase from Phil Burgess, often operating out of the worker’s residence. This reverses the trend from 1960 to 1980, when there were steady reductions in the number of people who worked at home.

  • Despite all the talk of increased mass transit usage, the percentage of Americans working at home has grown 1.5 times faster over the past decade; there are now more telecommuters than people who take mass transit to work in 38 out of the 52 U.S. metropolitan areas with more than a million people, according to the results of the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey.

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