trends in the suburbs

project overview

We have been following trends in suburban residential development since the early 1990s. We first looked at the way that ideas such as sustainable development were influencing plans and planning practices in Nova Scotia communities. Later we also examined community design practices in Japan to understand strategies for achieving higher densities and mixed use in suburban districts.

By the late 1990s we were investigating the influence of new urbanism in Canadian planning practice, conducting interviews and field surveys in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Later we extended the study to understand development patterns and new trends (like private communities and gated enclaves) in rapidly growing parts of the world. This took the research to British Columbia and to parts of the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel. The book, Planning the Good Community: New Urbanism in Theory and Practice (2006, Routledge) resulted from the research on new urbanism. Recent publications have explored a range of themes about what is happening in suburban residential development.

The Planning Theory and Practice journal, from Taylor and Francis, profiled one of our scholarly papers on mixed use and density in the suburbs. Find out more here.