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The definition of a suburb is a town/village etc where most of the inhabitants
work in a city, socialize in it and shop in it. That town etc then becomes a suburb of (whatever city.) Isn't that the case? :)

At what point would you say "OK most of the people in my town etc work etc in that city, but my town is X miles from (whatever) city, so it's too far away to be considered a suburb."

I want to know two things: Is distance anything to do with whether or not somewhere can be can be regarded as a suburb? And what do people in other countries regard as being too far out to be a suburb?

My limit might be about 16 miles.
 

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It depends on a wide range of factors. Same as in any country, really.

For Toronto, everything within 50 km radius of the city can reasonably be considered a suburb. To the east you have Oshawa, which has some independent identity but is also a bedroom community. To the west you have Hamilton, which has an even more independent feel and is not as strongly considered a suburb. 100 km to the north is Barrie, and to the west is Guelph and Kitchener, which are also starting to see commuters. But you can't call them suburbs given that much green space remains between them.

For a city like Hong Kong, which was forced to be dense, the political boundaries with the mainland are what's considered to be the city. Most of the New Territories now have huge towers. But most of the outlying islands are in another universe altogether thanks to their isolation.
 

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^^ Definitely agree. I would say it's very difficult to use a single, absolute metric to determine what is a suburb and what is not.

Also, note that geography plays a big role. Rarely is a metropolitan area arranged in a perfect circle so that such a metric can be used. More often than not, major cities develop around a body of water, and subsequent development develops along the coast and toward the inland area.

I would say a useful metric (but far from absolute) would be a relative density compared to the main city, or some sort of index combining the density, distance, architectural style, commercial-residential ratio, etc.
 

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Depends on the transportation link. A town 50km away linked by motorway and commuter rail is defentaly a suburb.
 

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Depends on the transportation link. A town 50km away linked by motorway and commuter rail is defentaly a suburb.
Amsterdam and Rotterdam are 50 km apart, and linked by a pretty extensive highway and rail network. I wouldn't call one a suburb of the other though.
 

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it depends on the country.
for nicosia i would say a suburb is anything located between 6-15 kilometers from the city center.
of course in other countries this distance is simply ridiculous.
the 3rd largest city in cyprus is only 42km from nicosia.
in other countries this would have been a suburb or a secondary city,for cyprus its not.

everything is relative and depends on the individual country
 

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In Germany, regional planning uses a 3-tier system which groups cities and towns into Upper Centers, Middle Centers and Lower Centers, which each tie to one of the bigger category.

An Upper Center typically services towns in up to about 50 km distance - though often less, since there'll be another Upper Center "competing" for it. They typically have over 100,000 population, and, if smaller, are often spread over two or three directly connecting towns.

Typical (independant) suburban communities without local functionality are rare. Those towns that effectively function as such - lower centers with suburban concept - are typically within 10-20 km of their local center.
 

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It depends on a wide range of factors. Same as in any country, really.

For Toronto, everything within 50 km radius of the city can reasonably be considered a suburb. To the east you have Oshawa, which has some independent identity but is also a bedroom community. To the west you have Hamilton, which has an even more independent feel and is not as strongly considered a suburb. 100 km to the north is Barrie, and to the west is Guelph and Kitchener, which are also starting to see commuters. But you can't call them suburbs given that much green space remains between them.

For a city like Hong Kong, which was forced to be dense, the political boundaries with the mainland are what's considered to be the city. Most of the New Territories now have huge towers. But most of the outlying islands are in another universe altogether thanks to their isolation.
Yes HK does have a political boundary and we can say that its neighbouring cities and town say Shenzhen wouldn't be considered as a "suburb".

But even within HK there is a boundary within the city centre and its so called "new towns".



HK's city centre would include 2,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 and 18. The rest is more suburban
 

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Hong Kong's suburbs are the new towns, which are in the outlying areas beyond Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. These two portions are what we usually refer to as the 'city'. When the population decentralization doctrine was adopted, creating these new towns, they were considered the suburbs - cheap housing for the masses.

Shenzhen is definitely not suburban. Not all the borders run 24/7. The busiest one closes late at night. Commuting between the two is not a very popular option now.
 
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