Growth and Succession in Suburban Communities

John R. Logan*, Moshe Semyonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies of the growth of metropolitan communities, drawing primarily on ecological theory as represented by Burgess' concentric zone model of the metropolis, have highlighted the effects of distance from the city center on community development. Using data from one major suburban region, we show that a more complete examination of Burgess' ecological life‐cycle theory should deal also with the effects of initial development pattern, age of housing stock, minority and low‐income presence, and social heterogeneity. In addition we argue that the latter three variables also can be interpreted as measures of the potential for collective action of residents to restrict development, and show that an explicitly political characteristic—incorporation—has a significant impact on one dimension of succession. We conclude that rather than limiting attention to the effects of distance (simplifying Burgess' model to central place theory), studies of growth should address more directly the interaction between ecological processes and the socio‐political framework within which they operate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1980
Externally publishedYes


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