Suburban growth in Adelaide, South Australia, 1850-1930: Speculation and economic opportunity

Michael McGreevy

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Suburbs are significant to any understanding of Australian urbanization as they have been the dominant organizational element in the morphology of metropolitan areas. A case-study of suburban growth in Adelaide, South Australia, in the period from 1850 to 1930 suggests that dominant accounts of Australian suburbs of the era, as places of tranquillity, leisure, home and family, whose growth was driven by aspiration and social mobility, are largely illusory. Suburban growth was instead driven by speculation and economic opportunity. Accounts of commercial, recreational and industrial activity in Adelaide's suburban municipalities of the time suggests economically and socially diverse communities. Whereas the desire for the quarter or half acre block in the suburbs was most often due to its productive potential rather than bourgeois aspirations for seclusion and semi-rural tranquillity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)208-230
    Number of pages23
    JournalUrban History
    Issue number2
    Early online date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2016 Cambridge University Press.

    Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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