Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Role of Inner Ring Suburbs in Metropolitan Smart Growth Strategies

by Sugie Lee and Nancey Green Leigh

Strengthening the effectiveness of metropolitan smart growth policies requires an understanding of the role and conditions of inner ring suburbs. Nevertheless, the issue of the deterioration of the inner ring suburbs has only recently received significant consideration by urban scholars and policy makers. In this article, the authors review the literature on metropolitan formation and the smart growth movement to critically assess how well it characterizes and explains the evolution of inner ring suburbs, as well as to emphasize the role that inner ring suburbs can play in metropolitan smart growth strategies. They next characterize the literature specifically focused on inner ring suburbs in terms of what it has to offer on defining such areas. After identifying the gaps in the literature, the authors offer a methodology for accurately defining inner ring suburbs and conclude with a discussion of policy for effectively addressing the socioeconomic needs of the inner ring suburbs within the context of metropolitan smart growth.

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