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Article

Framing the Debate on Suburbanization in North America and Germany Conceptually—Edward Soja’s Concept of “Regional Urbanization” Revisited

Department of Geography, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster, Germany
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Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010003
Received: 22 November 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Urbanization)
This article is on imaginaries of the urban. Here, we develop a critical view on urban and regional developments in capitalist countries and scrutinize explanation patterns anchored in a rigid urban–suburban dichotomy that tend to disregard the complex processuality of current urbanization forms. This contribution focusses on the impact societal change has on spatial and societal structures as well as on forms of socialization in urban regional contexts. As a starting point, we deliberately address current debates on suburbanization from which we first derive research desiderata and then conceptually position the debate. The main aim of the paper is to underscore the importance of the conceptual debate on postmodern urban development which is inextricably linked with the so-called LA school of urbanism and in particular with Edward Soja. In the conceptual part of the paper, we start from Edward Soja’s concept (Postmetropolis, 2000) on postmodern urban development in which overarching urbanization processes materialize on a continuum from center to periphery. His theoretical positionings offer a number of possibilities for analyzing and interpreting socio-economic, socio-structural, and socio-cultural urbanization processes. Essentially, we are offering a conceptual discussion of current urban regional processes based on Edward Soja’s theorizations (Soja, 2011) that take the socio-structural, socio-economic, and socio-cultural pluralities and complexity of Regional Urbanization into account. We contend that the seminal contribution of Edward Soja lends itself to a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of processes of urbanization, including suburban developments. View Full-Text
Keywords: regional urbanization; suburbanization; Edward Soja; postmetropolis; theory of the urban; urban and regional dynamics regional urbanization; suburbanization; Edward Soja; postmetropolis; theory of the urban; urban and regional dynamics
MDPI and ACS Style

Mlejnek, M.; Lütke, P.; Wood, G. Framing the Debate on Suburbanization in North America and Germany Conceptually—Edward Soja’s Concept of “Regional Urbanization” Revisited. Urban Sci. 2020, 4, 3. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010003

AMA Style

Mlejnek M, Lütke P, Wood G. Framing the Debate on Suburbanization in North America and Germany Conceptually—Edward Soja’s Concept of “Regional Urbanization” Revisited. Urban Science. 2020; 4(1):3. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mlejnek, Marius, Petra Lütke, and Gerald Wood. 2020. "Framing the Debate on Suburbanization in North America and Germany Conceptually—Edward Soja’s Concept of “Regional Urbanization” Revisited" Urban Science 4, no. 1: 3. https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010003

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