What is an Exurb?

Why the Exurbs Are Poised to Take Off in the Coming Years - WSJ
  • Author: Ivy Smith
  • Posted On: December 6, 2022
  • Updated On: December 6, 2022

A quiet ambience in the neighborhood is what makes life hassle-free and exurbs purport to address problems that come flowing with congested settlements.

An extra-urban area (often condensed as exurban or exurb) is a patch of land that lies in proximity to the denser, suburban settlements and is connected with the metropolis for easy commutation and economic boost.

Given this, there are three factors that qualify a settlement as exurban;

  • It should have an economic nexus with the mainland metropolis.
  • The settlement density should be low.
  • The population growth must be greater than the average value for the central urban area.

The exurban area serves to form the dividing line between a busy, suburban area and a rural settlement. Oftentimes, such an area possesses features that are a blend of rural and urban developments.

This seems desirable for people who want to distance themselves from the ever-growing noise, congestion and pollution in the urban locus but wish to stay conjugated with their developments and benefits.

The Origin of Exurbs

new york city aerial view of the downtown City Stock Photo

The transportation routes provide a discourse for a city to move in the outward direction and help in connecting smaller urban centers with each other.

Consequently, settlements begin to occur around the transportation network and the city begins to sprawl outwardly with settlements springing up to form the suburban areas and then the exurban landscape.

As time goes by, the population density begins to increase and more space is needed to accommodate the burgeoning city population. Therefore, the exurbs slowly become a part of the suburbs and push the city limits to more outward extents.

Apart from the growing demand for land use for accommodation, people also settle in the exurbs for other reasons including war, crimes, natural disasters, etc. Since the population in such a landscape is not too much, better and more timely facilities can be made available to all the residents.

When city immigrants with higher incomes settle in the exurbs, the cost of residence experiences sharp spikes and it becomes difficult for the native residents to buy the local real estate. This can lead to conflicts between the settled parties and the newcomers.

Characteristics of the Exurbs

  • The settlements may not be a part of the overall urban sprawl but lie at a commutable distance from the city.
  • There are large lots and large single-family homes that are owner-occupied.
  • For farm animals such as chickens, goats, etc., there are flexible laws.
  • In terms of diversity, the exurbs have very little diversity.

Benefits and Shortcomings

Life in an exurban area offers peace and privacy. With fewer industries on the ground and less crowded neighborhood, the area remains less exposed to environmental degradation in the form of noise and air pollution.

Located on the outer side of suburbs and on the circumference of rural landscape, exurban life equilibrates the urban and rural living. The ease of commuting to the metropolis provides timely catalysis to economic activities whereas the intrusion of rural developments adds to the tranquility of living there.

Given the manifold advantages of settling in exurbs, the residents also have to face numerous challenges. A special land management approach is required for the effective irrigation of agricultural crops.

This is because the exurbs are often too small to be considered a town and too large to be considered small farms. In addition, the prevalence of weed growth in profusion proves pesky for the residents.

indoor plants

An independent and operative septic system as well as separate house fencing are an essential part of living and ensuring them in the exurbs might be challenging at times.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between suburbs and exurbs?

When a city begins to grow outwards along the transportation network, settlements spring up at the boundary of the metropolis and form the suburban landscape, also termed the suburbs. With further increase in the population and demand for accommodation, the radially outward growth of the city gives rise to exurban settlements in the outskirts of suburbs. Therefore, the exurbs lie at the outer periphery of the suburbs, yet the residents are able to commute to and from the mainland city.

What is an example of an exurb?

The United States is home to a myriad of exurbs. Some of these settlements include Washington County, NA, Orleans County, Valencia County, etc. These are located on the circumference of much-crowded settlements and are relatively less populated.

What are the characteristics of exurbs?

Exurbs have a transportation link with the metropolis and a commuting discourse is available. The settlement density is less than in the suburbs and the population growth is greater than that is the city.

Why do people move to exurbs?

When a city experiences a marked population spike, its accommodation capacity substantially drops. This results in congested neighborhood and clogging of commutation routes. However, as the transportation infrastructure expands, the settlements also begin to grow, first in the suburbs and later on, in the exurbs. A faction of the population in search of better opportunities wants to distance itself from the clamor of busy streets and seeks solace in the exurbs, where life is a blend of the rural and urban landscapes.

Are residents of exurbs wealthy?

Old residents are usually local immigrants from the metropolis and are relatively wealthy lot of people having a handsome median income. In addition, the real estate price in the exurb is also likely to increase with increasing settlements.

Avatar photo
Author: Ivy Smith

Ivy is a professional civil engineer and also provides her consultancy at ConstructionHow from the technical aspect. Her expertise entails home improvements and real estate. But the primary strength pins down to the construction sector. She began her career with a property management company cultivating more than 20 construction and real estate projects. She also contributes as a contractor to local and international commercial and domestic individuals.