This chapter considers the suburbs composing an economy in between the city and the rural. It begins by defining suburbs and then outlining their role in the broader transformation of metropolitan and megapolitan areas. It notes the variety of settlements that compose the suburbs. It charts the industrial and service industry origins of some suburbs. It explores the role of intermediaries in the production of suburban housing. Finally, it also considers the contours of the consumption economy found in the residential suburbs. Much of this chapter is focused on North America and to a lesser extent on Europe. While the US is not the norm regarding suburban development it does represent a powerful and perhaps exceptional model, aspects of which have only just begun to be exported.
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