While most suburbs by definition export people to jobs in the urban core, some are doing well at generating employment opportunities. Corporations and governments have generated jobs in the suburbs, and not just back office, service industry positions (although these have been common).
Assuming fuel prices remain high, and individuals continue to value time more than in the past, then some suburbs whether close to urban cores or more distant may evolve into self-contained satellite cities with weaker links to the region’s major metro area.
Some who currently commute will find a similar job closer to home. Others will move to the evolving satellite city to be closer to their work. And some will keep their urban core jobs, but be able to tele-commute one or two days per week, or perhaps work in a local branch office occasionally. All of this will contribute to creating a more self-contained place — not just a space in which to live — where people will be able to reach jobs, schools and amenities on food, bicycle, bus or in less than a 10 minute drive. This will keep them supporting local businesses as well interacting more in their community, building social cohesion, which many suburban spaces lack.
In Canada, besides the Guelph-Cambridge-Kitchener — Waterloo satellite, there are others to watch. Hamilton Ontario; the townships southeast of Montreal; Red Deer and Lethbridge Alberta; and perhaps Squamish BC although the latter’s employment base is not keeping pace with residents who frequently commute to Vancouver or Whistler to work.
For the US, Everett might have been a satellite of Seattle, but the bigger city seems to have caught it and there is no break. At one time Ft. Worth offered a nice satellite to Dallas, but again infill development has largely merged the two together. A similar situation seems to exist for Phoenix or Los Angeles — at one time there were nice satellite cities, but they've become suburbs. On the other hand, places like White Planes, NY and Hopkins, MN were more successful at keeping their historical centers strong, while growing self-contained economies.
-- Older satellite cities that have their own downtown areas will never become true suburbs. Satellite cities have that historic soul, independent of the larger centre. White Plains, NY may be only 35 railways minutes from Manhattan, but it boasts an impressive downtown community on its own complete with rich employment opportunities and shopping galore.
Post your suggestions of great US satellite cities to watch for as the new sites of subtle, “under the radar” economic development.