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Speak Out: Are Urban and Suburban Lines Blurred?

"Just Up the Pike" author riffs on recent Salon.com piece, arguing that there's middle ground between the two types of neighborhoods.

Living in Silver Spring, it's easy to see how the words "urban" and "suburban" can mean very different things in different places. 

Dan Reed, author at "Just Up the Pike," argues in a recent blog post that some city dwellers' obsession with emphasizing a dichotomy between the two types of neighborhoods are missing the point. 

Taking aim at Will Doig's Salon.com piece, "Invasion of the Faux Cities," Reed writes:

For starters, he presents "city" and "suburb" as mutually exclusive entities with no middle ground. A place can either be like Doig's former neighborhood, Columbia Heights in the District, or Reston Town Center in Northern Virginia. One represents "urban authenticity" where "scrappy entrepreneuralism and creativity" can occur, the other's a "jury-rigged" "urban simulacra" that's just a "marketing tool." 

The reality is that development patterns usually don't conform to municipal boundaries, rendering terms like "city" and "suburb" meaningless

What do you think: Should we drop the city vs. suburb debate? 

jag September 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Indeed, Doig's article is flat embarrassing.
Danna Walker (Editor) September 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I always refer to lower Montgomery County as a "mature suburb." It's by far as urban as many parts of DC.

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