Boomburb downtowns: The next generation of urban centers

R. E. Lang, Arthur C. Nelson, Rebecca R. Sohmer

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A new trend is emerging in rapidly growing suburbs, or “boomburbs.” While boomburbs are primarily still suburban in look and feel, some are beginning to develop downtowns and other quasi-urban centers. As the nation's preeminent urbanizing suburbs, boomburbs have enormous potential. Based on site visits and a review of existing plans provided, this article develops a boomburb downtown typology using a criterion of a center's scale (large or small), setting (infill or greenfield), and proximity to rail. The move toward more compact development in newly emerging centers of fast growing suburbs is a hopeful trend that should be encouraged and augmented. Urbanizing suburbs are one important key to remaking the American metropolis based on smart growth principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Downtowns
  • Suburban growth
  • Transit-oriented development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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