edge cities

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edge cities,

term designating commercial complexes that have grown up on the margins of large American cities, a development that dates mainly from the 1970s. The term was coined by Joel Garreau in his book Edge City: Life on the New Frontier (1991). Sometimes called "technoburbs," edge cities typically develop at the intersection of major highways and feature the amenities that serve large suburban populations in such locations—shopping malls, entertainment centers, hospitals, schools, regional airports, and the like. These settings have proved attractive to businesses for corporate headquarters, which are often sited on appealingly sylvan "campuses," and for office buildings that can house smaller companies. With convenient access and pleasant surroundings, edge cities avoid many inner-city problems. However, critics have noted in them marked class segregation and a diminished sense of community as well as, increasingly, such traditional urban ills as congestion and crime. Representative edge cities include Tysons Corner, Va., Edison Township, N.J., IrvineIrvine
, city (1990 pop. 110,330), Orange co., SW Calif.; inc. 1971. Its industries include the research and development of high-technology electronics, especially computer products, and the manufacture of motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, aerospace vehicles and aircraft parts,
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, Calif., and PlanoPlano
, city (1990 pop. 128,713), Collin co., N Tex., less than 20 mi (32 km) NE of Dallas; inc. 1873. In a farm and livestock area on the blackland prairie, Plano is a booming financial and commercial center, with headquarters of many large national corporations.
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, Tex.


See study by J. Garreau (1991).

References in periodicals archive ?
As the economy continues to boom in the New York City environs, his formula will likely be adopted by even more edge cities.
Teaford has provided some historical depth to current debates about Edge Cities.
The third wave began in the 1980s, as Jobs began migrating to the edge cities where many people had been living and shopping for two generations.
Crime rates are statistically lower in edge cities than in older urban downtowns.
The expansion of edge cities has helped to create a vibrant retail economy outside of Boston that is connected to the city but not dependent on it," comments Steven Greenberg, retail specialist at R.
Edge cities, which typically feature tall office buildings surrounded by acres of grass and parking lots, include places like King of Prussia outside of Philadelphia, Scottsdale in the suburbs of Phoenix, and the Dearborn-Fairlane Village area near Detroit.
The bulk of Garreau's very bulky book consists of fairly detailed discussions of edge cities in nine metropolitan regions: New Jersey, Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Phoenix, Texas, Southern California, San Francisco Bay, and Washington, D.
The contrast with edge cities like Irvine, where "the birds are a problem," or the Houston Galleria, larger than Amsterdam, should be clear.
Costa Mesa, California; Oakbrook, Illinois; Troy, Michigan; Chevy Chase, Maryland; Manhasset, New York; Short Hills, New Jersey; and Greenwich, Connecticut are some of the suburbs that have benefited from global retailer expansion to affluent edge cities.
Kaplan, a contributing editor at The Atlantic Monthly, travels to the decaying ghettos of the Midwest, the prosperous edge cities of Southern California, the rough-edged towns of central and northern Mexico, the sparsely populated (and rapidly Mexifying) Southwest, the equally sparse (and rapidly emptying) Great Plains, and, finally, the lush Northwest, the area he finds most promising.
Garreau soon realized that planners had no foundation in reality, while the developers building edge cities had to be in touch with what people wanted, or they would lose their shirts.
The politics that work in safe districts in Manhattan, Madison, or Marin County cannot possibly work in the edge cities, small towns, and expanding suburbs where most of the electorate now resides.