Minicities in suburbia – A model for urban sustainability?


  • Per Gunnar Røe Dr. polit./førsteamanuensis, Universitetet i Oslo
  • Inger-Lise Saglie Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning


Emneord (Nøkkelord):

Minicities, suburbia, transport node, sustainability


In the 1970s it was argued that suburban centres in the US had developed into “minicities”, offering a wide range of possibilities for consumption, cultural events and a sense of the urban. In this article we explore to which extent this description of minicities may be valid in two cases in the suburban hinterland of Oslo. We further discuss whether the “urbanization” of these suburban centres may contribute to a more sustainable urban development, with respect to everyday travel. We conclude that the growth of these minicities may reduce car travel, either because of their excellent public transport connection to the (big) city centre and other nodes in the increasingly decentralized urban region, or because they may serve as a substitute for the city centre. However, an empirical investigation of the role of minicities must be based on a deeper understanding of the social and cultural processes that guide the everyday life of today’s sub­urbanites.


Per Gunnar Røe, Dr. polit./førsteamanuensis, Universitetet i Oslo

Førsteamanuensis, Institutt for sosiologi og samfunnsgeografi, Universitetet i Oslo



Hvordan referere

Røe, P. G., & Saglie, I.-L. (2011). Minicities in suburbia – A model for urban sustainability?. FormAkademisk - forskningstidsskrift for design og designdidaktikk, 4(2).