No, that’s not a typo. “Surban” is like a celebrity supercouple name fusion: it refers to the mix of urban and suburban living.
These surban areas are new or redeveloped suburban downtown districts that fuse elements of urban living while keeping things more on the suburban spectrum of affordability. It’s the move away from the sprawl.
When looking to buy a home, the suburbs are often the first or primary place families begin their journey. Why? Because these primarily residential areas tend to be a good place to live within commuting distance to a city. They tend to be characterized by neighborhoods, shopping and strip malls, higher standards of living, and more complex road systems.
According to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, established families aren’t the only ones looking towards the suburbs for a home. According to the study, fewer millennials are purchasing in urban and/or central city areas than last year’s survey, and even fewer of them are purchasing multi-family homes. One of the conclusions drawn by the survey is that the trend among all generations of homebuyers is a single-family home in the suburbs.
The suburbs first emerged and developed in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of improved transportation, which led to commuting. For homebuyers and home owners, one of the potential downsides of suburbia can be a lack of amenities or pedestrian-friendly areas. Across the U.S., much of the areas all but require spending time in a car to go just about anywhere.
Or, if they do, not everyone wants to commute via car: bikes, walking, and even public transportation might not be viable choices, depending on the area. This is where many people find urban areas to have the upper hand.
But there is hope for suburbia! This is where surban developments come into play.
Surban living isn’t necessarily just a new word for mixed-use development, which is a more urban area physically and functionally integrated with a blend of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses. Many suburban areas are becoming “surban” simply with the addition of more “urban” amenities, such as businesses for job opportunities, entertainment options, and pedestrian-friendly shopping areas. This type of living can become a way of life for people, where it’s possible to walk or bike to work, the grocery store, or the park without giving up the perks of a suburban community, such as stronger public schools.
The integration of this “inclusive” surban mindset can also prevent some of the problems that occur with exclusive development, like traffic congestion and air pollution. All in all, surban development offers the opportunity for individuals and families to purchase affordable homes without sacrificing the convenience cities offer.
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.