Growing up in Northern Toronto, it had never occurred to me that the neighbourhood I was living in was planned long before my neighbors or I decided to move and build this a community. As I grew older and I started to notice new “areas” being built I noticed that from afar those hundreds of houses were being built and organized in preparation for hundreds of families. Personally, I am interested in the development of subdivisions and the suburbs due to my family owning a property around the area of Lake Simcoe. It seems as though that with every passing year it takes another few kilometers or minutes to escape the confines of the city due to the growth of the suburbs around Toronto.
Suburbs or outlying districts of cities have been present since ancient times . In early history, individuals would live on the outskirts of cities to take advantage of the economic benefits of a major market while living affordable. In particular, Rome had a continuously growing population outside it’s city limits (Stambaugh, 1988). Archeological excavations have concluded that Rome expanded on it’s city walls many times in history to protect those on it’s fringes (Stambaugh, 1988).
Modern suburbs arose almost 2000 years later during the Industrial Revolution in London, England. London’s promise for economic growth attracted millions immigrants from across the British Empire and the globe at an exponential rate. The 19th century saw the city experience rapidly grow to more than six million (Brown, 2004). This dramatic growth in population size and the lack of affordable housing drove individuals who could permit themselves to do so outside the city (Brown, 2004).
By 1868 an underground public transportation railway had been built in London to ease the individuals commute to and from the city. This transit system allowed those who escaped the cramped city the ability to remain employed in the city while living outside it. Years of maintenance and construction have led to today’s London Metro System, one of the most sophisticated in the world (History, 2014).
Aside from the city, the London’s suburbs were built on a model which employed a rectilinear grid and traffic system in order to limit traffic. Victorian suburban planners and developers built using two types of plans; that of a Victorian semi-detached house, a modern day duplex, and Villas for the upper class (Brown, 2004).
While the suburbs continue to grow around the world, the major development in suburban living took place in the United States following the Second World War (Galyean, 2012). Abraham Levitt, an American entrepreneur, decided to establish a planned community in Nassau County, Long Island. Levitt planned on converting former farmland into a suburban community where thousands of individuals could find living space. Approximately, 17,000 identical houses were built and sold or rented to middle income families (Naish, 2014).
Among the American population, there was a desire for...