Professors David L. A. Gordon of Queens University (Canada) and Paul Maginn and Sharon Biermann of the University of Western Australia have now shown Australia to be a largely suburban nation. This follows on Professor Gordon’s work with colleagues in 2013 that came to the same conclusion on Canada based upon 2006 census data.
A Suburban World…
Contrary to planning preference for dense urbanization, suburbanization has occurred virtually wherever people can afford cars. This is even true in Europe, Japan and China. For example, the municipality of Paris continues to languish with a population a quarter below its level of 135 years ago (1881). The 8 million resident urban area growth since that time has been in the suburbs , which now cover more than 25 times the area of the ville de Paris (the central municipality). Other examples, such as the core municipalities of Copenhagen (from 1950), Barcelona and Milan (from 1970) have suffered significant population losses while all metropolitan area growth has been in the suburbs. There are many similar examples around the world.
Even with the differing definitions, the data in Canada, Australia and the United States is remarkably similar. Of course, not all suburbs are the same, but it should not be surprising that the organic growth of cities continues on their edges.