Published titles > Architecture > Metroburbia
Metroburbia cover image
UK £35.00
US $55.00
CAN $71.50
Hardback with jacket
224 pages
260 colour illustrations, 10 maps
25.6 x 21.2 cm (10.25 x 8.5 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4651-1
The Anatomy of Greater London

Paul L. Knox


London’s suburbs are home to millions of people who commute into the centre every day to work, but they also house millions of residents who rarely find a reason to travel into the city itself. The suburbs contain much of the essential infrastructure for the city, too, including airports, offices, shopping centres, factories and warehouses. Outer London is therefore simultaneously metropolitan and suburban – it is Metroburbia. In this book, Paul L. Knox examines the foundation and architectural development of London’s suburbs, and celebrates their surprising variety and organized structure, refuting the common claim that they are monotonous or amorphous. He explains how topography and geology influenced the siting of the villages that would become part of Greater London, and considers the building booms of the 19th century, the acceleration of building projects between the wars and, after the Second World War, the expansion of residential London along the Underground routes and the incorporation of nearby towns. Knox also describes the genesis of suburban parks, cemeteries and garden villages, and the creation of the impressive industrial, civic and institutional buildings that remain striking elements of the city’s infrastructure today. Having explored the effects of immigration and industrialization on the city’s housing requirements, as well as the consequences of widespread car ownership, the book looks forward, weighing up various theories about the capital’s future,
and contemplating the shape of the city in the 21st century.

An in-depth investigation of the development of London's extensive suburbs

Illustrated with more than 250 original photographs, highlighting the variety of suburban architectural styles

Required reading for urban planners, architectural students and professsionals, and anyone interested in London


Published in association with the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience

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Author Profile

Paul L. Knox is a University Distinguished Professor and former Dean of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. His recent books include Cities and Design (2010), Palimpsests: Biographies of 50 City Districts (2012) and Atlas of Cities (2014).

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Table of Contents:

The Foundations of Metroburbia

Pattern-book London: Victorian and Edwardian Suburbs

Interwar Suburbia: Metro-Land and Automobility

Secular Reformation and Modernism


Megapolitan Futures


Photo Credits

Further Reading


  • Metroburbia sample spread #1
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