The suburbs have increasingly come under fire over the last decade. Charged with offences ranging from being boring and homogenous to being a root cause of obesity and climate change, the picture being painted of life in the suburbs has been pretty bleak. Yet, amidst the criticism, more and more people choose to live in these neighbourhoods every day. The suburbs are the fastest growing places in Canada, with the largest proportion of the population already living there. Clearly, there is something worthwhile about these places; something that draws people to the suburbs and keeps them there. This is what we wanted to find out. What are the benefits of suburban development? The answers we found, both the expected and the surprising, turned out to be numerous.
These findings are brought to light in this paper in an effort to create a more balanced conversation about the suburbs. Future urban growth and development is shaped by this conversation, so it is crucial that we recognize what is good about the suburbs, or we risk losing what is valued by so many people.
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