Warner (Jr.), Sam
Bass. Streetcar Suburbs: The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962 (a 1878 reprint).
Warner examines the
gradual development of the two-part city -- the old center city ringed by the
new outer suburbs -- in late nineteenth century Boston. The street railway
system gave the commuter a greater mobility, allowing for the eventual expansion
of neighborhoods beyond the walking city. Yet beyond the historical storyline,
the most important issue raised by the work is the meaning of the suburbs in
the United States. For Warner, the migration to the suburbs fragmented
community life and segregated socio-economic classes. The centerless suburbs
followed a grid pattern that did not concern itself with public life but economic
efficiency. "The result was not integrated communities arranged around
a common center, but a historical and accidental traffic pattern" . [R.