The sustainable suburban high street: a review of themes and approaches

S. Griffiths, L. Vaughan, M. Haklay, Kate Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Whether suburbs are regarded as a distinctive feature of the contemporary urban landscape or as symptomatic of ‘sprawl’ the recent upsurge of scholarly interest in suburbia has done little to displace the dominant image of the suburb as a primarily residential phenomenon. In a wide ranging survey of the academic literature, taking account of current developments in the policy debate relating to suburban regeneration and also drawing on research conducted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Towards Successful Suburban Town Centres project at University College London, this article argues for an approach to the suburbs that emphasises their importance as historical centres of diverse social and economic activity. The focus is on the ‘typical’ British suburban high street, regarded as a complex and dynamic socio-spatial entity facing particular challenges to its vitality and viability in the light of ongoing socio-economic change. It is suggested that an improved understanding of the relation between suburban society and the built form of suburban centres over time would lead to a fuller appreciation of the actual and potential contribution of the local high street to achieving sustainable built environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1155-1188
    Number of pages34
    JournalGeography Compass
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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