Suburbanization or urban migration is the migration of urban population or functions from the main town in the urban hinterland and beyond. This is associated with a diffusion of the compact city in their surrounding country, ie population, move jobs, functions, and thus also central to local significance. From the city center in the suburban area, such as in the suburbs With the development of suburbanization and their demographic, economic and settlement structure effects are featured in the regional planning and urban geography. A distinction is Stadtflucht of de-urbanization.

Process Description

In most cases, in parallel with the development of motorized individual is observed a ( historical ) process of expansion of urban life and urban fashion from the core city in the complementary region. The exodus from the big cities or the migration to the urban areas leads to the urbanization of rural communities or - for the establishment of new settlements - to the development of satellite towns or satellite towns. These are beyond the limits of the core urban areas are functionally connected to the urban core. The functional interdependence between the core city and the surrounding area is usually on the proportion of commuters from a surrounding community (English suburb ) defined in the core city. Difficulties in the measurement of linkages occur when the size of the surrounding regions between two under investigation times changed.

The following aspects are in employment with suburbanization in the foreground:

  • The unequal distribution of burdens of public infrastructure is generally made at the expense of the core city, which are often very significant benefits (also) for the surrounding area provides, without receiving financial compensation, although surrounding communities often have a relatively higher tax revenues.
  • The loss of centrality and population often results in the core city the loss of jobs,
  • For changing the retail structure,
  • Segregation of marginalized population groups, particularly in the inner suburbs area and segregation of certain types of households in suburban areas ( actors of suburbanization )
  • A running empty or over-capacity of infrastructure ( transport, supply and disposal, Culture and Leisure )
  • A shortage of available residential and commercial land,
  • An increase in land use ( urban sprawl ),
  • Increase in commuting and higher demands on transport infrastructure, especially in the area of ​​MIV ( motorized private )
  • A pressure to adapt other infrastructure, such as kindergartens,
  • Socio- structural problems, such as a conflict between be delayed and long-established population,
  • A loss of regional and local identities,
  • Increased tax revenues,
  • A reshaping of the old, grown settlement structures

Main players in the Wohnsuburbanisierung are younger people, especially young families, such as the exemplary age structure of migration beyond the city limits of a major German city shows time.

Reasons for suburbanization are particularly

  • A strong immigration pressure in the city by residents ( rural exodus ) or external migration gains ( eg movement of highly skilled foreign workers in global cities ). His extreme expression of this process takes place in the formation of megacities.
  • A strong settlement and surface pressure in the core or inner cities, in which, in Western industrialized countries with mostly rising individual space requirements and high Miet-/Baulandpreisen in inner city locations, a long-running process of Wohnsuburbanisierung into urban surroundings, in which the area prices are lower and also availability are greater in residential land, has emerged.
  • The image problem of the central cities compared to the surrounding areas, which is often seen as more attractive. Since the increased mobility is no longer an immediate proximity to the workplace due to play a child-friendly environment, high living and quality of life, a green living environment, proximity to recreational facilities and scenic attractiveness is becoming increasingly important.
  • Suburbanization was in the industrialized countries, such as enables, for example Germany, by a distinct change in mobility behavior with simultaneous expansion of the infrastructure network, the expansion of public transport and in particular the strong increase in the motorization.
  • A special form of suburbanization is the so-called " indigenous suburbanization ". Here the local population are agriculture as a livelihood and accepts a job in the urban core, making it not come to a population redistribution, but rather to a change in lifestyle.


The immediate consequences are commuting between residences and jobs, which are often still located in the city, resulting in travel costs, loss of time and environmental impact. In addition, the landscape is urban sprawl, it forms a so-called " commuter belt " around the city.

Since often the political city limits or even border is left to shrink the municipal tax revenues. Income tax percentage and other taxes flow instead to the county. Nevertheless, it is expected that the core city receives its infrastructure and even adjusts the growing traffic flows. Vacancy should be eliminated and replaced by respectable. However, it may also be the case that surrounding communities of large cities to be purely residential communities. Infrastructure such as shopping can not be said as the residents do their shopping in the city and thus in the small community lacks the tax base itself. In addition, land prices can rise very high, so that the ancestral population can not expand for cost reasons. As a result, it may ( according to status or income, for example ) for segregation of the population. Under such conditions, there is also the danger of the formation of slums.

With a growth of settlement and traffic area is peri-urban space with its ecological functions ( fresh air corridors, cold air generation, habitat connectivity, groundwater regeneration, etc.) and recreational function as well as a lost landscape. Consequently, the urban climate is adversely affected. The most sparsely built-up areas cause for the communities future high infrastructure costs resulting as lines, roads or social institutions must be rebuilt.

Possibilities of control

Today we try to counteract suburbanization in Germany and other developed countries, since its purpose is growing urban sprawl and land consumption increases directly and indirectly ( traffic). Also, the load balancing for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure between the core city and suburbanem space increasingly becoming a problem. As a spatial planning approach to counter -urbanization, especially the model of decentralized concentration is used in the spatial order of the Federal Republic of Germany. Control possibilities of suburbanisation are:

  • Approaches to regional planning level (LEP, regional plans ),
  • Approaches to regional planning level,
  • Approaches to sectoral planning level (eg in human settlements, nature conservation or commercial),
  • Approaches at the local level: It is important that inter-municipal cooperation, as suburbanization rarely limited to the territory of a city. With the initiation of innovative and creative projects a "win -win" situation can be created. For example this can be done in the context of traffic or settlement planning.