Read a free chapter of Suburban Remix, edited by Jason Beske and David Dixon

February 5, 2018 David Dixon

David Dixon traces the history of American suburbs from the 1850s to 20th-century sprawl and frames today's interest in compact, walkable suburbs 


From Chapter 2: From the Rise of Suburbs to the Great Reset

"The story of American suburban development starts logically enough: America’s earliest suburbs, spawned in the 1850s, made it possible for the wealthy to work by day in crowded, noisy commercial centers like Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, yet board a train to escape to new, semirural suburbs like Radnor, New Rochelle, or Brookline. Equally important, these “garden suburbs” promised a return to the sense of community in the idealized small towns and English villages to which many affluent Americans aspired. Lively “downtowns” developed around suburban train stations and became the focus of small-town community life from Wellesley (outside Boston) to Evanston (outside Chicago)."

Excerpted from Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places edited by Jason Beske and David Dixon. Copyright © 2018 Jason Beske and David Dixon. Reproduced by permission of Island Press, Washington, D.C.  

The book also includes a chapter on "North York Center: An Example of Canada’s Urbanizing Suburbs" by Stantec's Harold Madi and Simon O’Byrne.

You can purchase Suburban Remix in hardcover, paperback, and e-book format. To receive a 20% discount on the book, use the code 4REMIX when ordering at

About the Author

David Dixon

David Dixon, FAIA, is Stantec’s Urban Places Planning and Urban Design Leader. A sought-after expert and author in urban planning and design, David is known for helping create new, mixed-use urban districts. Based in Boston, David is the co-editor of “Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places” (Island Press, February 2018).

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