Satellite town

A satellite town or satellite city is a concept of urban planning referring to a small or medium-sized city that is near a large metropolis, but predates that metropolis' suburban expansion and is at least partially independent from that metropolis economically. Essentially, satellite cities are miniature metro areas on the fringe of larger ones.

Satellite cities versus other types of settlement


Satellite cities differ from suburbs in that they have distinct employment bases, commutersheds, and cultural offerings from the central metropolis, as well as an independent municipal government. Satellite cities are not bedroom communities.

Edge cities

Satellite cities differ from edge cities, which are suburbs with large employment bases and cultural offerings, in that satellite cities have a true historic downtown, a distinct independent municipal government, existed as a city prior to becoming interconnected with the larger metropolitan core, and are surrounded by their own family of bedroom communities. Conceptually, satellite cities could be (and once were) self-sufficient communities outside of their larger metropolitan areas, but have become interconnected due to the suburban expansion of the larger metropolis.

Some satellite cities that are particularly close or well connected to their larger neighbors may also qualify as the Uptown variety of edge cities, but the terms are not synonymous.

Metropolitan areas

Conceptually, satellite cities are miniature metro areas on the fringe of larger ones. Satellite cities are sometimes listed as part of the larger metro area, and sometimes listed as totally independent. In the United States, satellite cities are often (but not always) listed as independent Metropolitan Statistical Areas within a single Combined Statistical Area that is unified with the larger metropolis.


Some examples of satellite cities in the United States include:

See also

General:Rural exodus, New Urbanism, Urban sprawlPlanning:Regional planning, Spatial planning

External articles

  • Graham Romeyn Taylor, Satellite Cities. A Study of Industrial Suburbs ISBN 1402161883
  • Berger, A. S. (1978). The city: urban communities and their problems. Dubuque, Iowa: Brown.
  • Carpenter, N. (1931). The sociology of city life. Longmans' social science series. New York: Longmans, Green and Co.

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