Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The expression "exurb" (for "extra-urban") was coined in the 1950s to describe the ring of prosperous rural communities beyond the suburbs that, due to availability via the new high-speed limited-access highways, were becoming dormitory communities for an urban area. Earlier exurbs had been reached through commuter rail and parkway systems, with classic examples towards the end of Philadelphia's Main Line and in Upper Westchester County, New York.
In his book On Paradise Drive , David Brooks commented on the massive growth of exurbs in the 1990s and early 2000s, and noted that these communities are now dependent on industries contained in office parks in the suburbs rather than in the city center, producing populations with no connection to urban city life. Exurbs typically include big box retailers and large shopping malls. Brooks attributes the victory of George W. Bush in the 2004 election to votes from exurbs and states his belief that the Democratic Party failed in connecting with voters in exurbs.
Exurbs are not unique to the United States — they are also found in other land-rich developed countries, notably Canada and Australia.
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