As part of the urbanization process, suburban development involves the conversion of rural land to urban use. When discussing the suburbs, most writers focus on particular countries in the northern hemisphere, implying that patterns and processes elsewhere are fundamentally different. The purpose of The Suburban Land Question is to identify the common elements of suburban development, focusing on issues associated with the scale and pace of rapid urbanization around the world.
Editors Richard Harris and Ute Lehrer and a diverse group of contributors draw on a variety of sources, including official data, planning documents, newspapers, interviews, photographs, and field observations to explore the pattern, process, and planning of suburban land development. Featuring case studies from major world regions, including China, India, Latin America, South Africa, as well as France, Austria, the Netherlands, the United States, and Canada, the volume identifies and discusses the peculiarly transitional character of suburban land. In addition to place and time, The Suburban Land Question addresses the many elements that distinguish land development in urban fringe areas, including economy, social infrastructure, and legality.