Are the edge cities in Los Angeles more self-sufficient than those in Hong Kong? In the 20th century, most of the cities in the economically developed countries started their progressive suburbanization to decentralize population. Suburbanization is generally describing the general trend of city areas moving away from the city center to the outer areas. It is the creation of residential, commercial and also industrial areas to the edge of the city. Edge city is defined as a sizable area that offering a mixture of living, employment, retailing and entertainment and serving the suburban areas. It is emerged from the suburbanization of the city. According to Joel Garreau, Edge cities can be identified into three basic types : [uptowns (peripheral pre-automobile settlements that have subsequently been absorbed by urban sprawl); boomers (the classic edge cities, located at freeway intersections); and greenfields (the current state-of-the-art, "occurring at the intersection of several thousand acres of farmland and one developer's monumental ego")] (Postmodern Urbanism, pp.50,Michael Dear and Steven Flusty) Suburbanization can be categorized into natural suburbanization and planned suburbanization. The natural suburbanization means the suburban areas expand naturally by the relocation of residence. When the urban center becomes more crowded, some residents live and work in the metropolitan regions chose to live in satellite communities and continue to work in the urban center accessing by mass transit or automobile. Planned suburbanization means the suburb are developed and planned by the government and also private organizations. The governments intend to relocate the residents to the edge of the city in order to solve the problems in the inner city. Thus, the urban planning policy or new towns policy emerged to focus on the development of the edge of the city. Edge cities are supposed to be self-sustaining with sufficient community services, transportation linkage to the urban center and with the suburb areas and also commercial activities.
The research intension and methodology
In my essay, I would like to investigate the level of self-sustainability of the planned suburb areas in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The level of self-sustainability can be measured by the following criteria: the planning intension; the population distribution and composition; the efficiency of transportation; the adequacy of community facilities and recreational facilities and also the land use distribution. I would like to compare the two cities with the above criteria specifically. In order to have specific comparison, I would like to choose Warner Center in the Woodland Hills district of Los Angeles and Tung Chung in Lantau Island of Hong Kong to have detailed analysis and comparison. As both of them are defined as same type of edge cities(uptowns) and both of their development started in the 1980s, they have similar and comparable bases to analysis. The assumption of my research is : The planned suburbs of Los Angeles are more self-sufficient than those in Hong Kong. There are a few of research instruments employed in my research to have grounded information and supporting evidence: conducting interview with local residents, conducting survey(questionnaires) with local residents and referring to the previous studies, researches and history of the both areas.
Historical background and planning intension
1.Suburbanization of Los Angeles in the post-war period
In the post-war period, suburbanization was progressive and there were radical growth of suburban areas Los Angeles. During the 1950s, the home mortgage insurance by the U.S. government encouraged suburbanization. The high income groups started moving to the suburbs with the construction of new and modern houses. In the 1960s, the highway system was more established, therefore more citizens were able to live in the suburbs and commute to the urban center by public transport. As the...