Social Conurbation as a Justifiable Urban-Sprawl Repercussion

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Although there is a growing concern about the unsuitability of suburbanization as an urban form considering its deleterious impact on urban ecology, environmental sustainability, and urban social geography, this article argues that there are some promising facts at the amalgamation of different suburban neighborhoods. This study explores the relationship between the spatial distances of urban form and its social distances that affect people’s activities at the merging points of neighboring cities’ suburbs, which Patrick Geddes called “conurbation.” Relatively, this article coins the term “social conurbation,” which refers to a phenomenon occurring at the juncture of suburban neighborhoods’ social geography in metropolitan areas through a shift of geographical population from an urban area to the suburb. Thus, we hypothesize that the growth and expansion of neighboring cities’ physical infrastructures and the integration of suburbs’ spatial geography change people’s socio-behavioral settings, their perception of community, and the social network of those communities, resulting in a merged form of continuous social geography. Consequently, merging adjacent suburban neighborhoods creates a new social phenomenon through their spatial characteristics with justifiable merits, although the negative effects of suburbanization by itself are noticeable. These merits can transform neighborhoods into communities due to the new socio-spatial dynamics of the conurbation phenomenon as a socio-spatial dialectic by which people create or modify the geographical spaces in which they live, work, or play.