Suburbs + Regions

My Work on Suburbs + Regions

I began my academic career thinking that I would focus on gentrification, but quickly realized that I needed a wider perspective on urbanization. I’ve written extensively on regions and megaregions – very large regions like Northern California – and on suburbia, both in the US and in France. My suburbia work pays very close attention to the role of race and segregation, and to discourse – how we talk about places.


Regions and Megaregions

2018 Alex Schafran. Urban Restructuring. Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies, Anthony Orum (ed), Wiley & Sons, London.

2015 Alex Schafran. “Beyond Globalization: A Historical Urban Development Approach to Understanding Megaregions,” in Harrison, J. & Hoyler, M. (editors), Megaregions: Globalization’s new urban form? Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, p. 75-96.

2014 Alex Schafran. Rethinking Megaregions: Subregional Politics in a Fragmented Metropolis, Regional Studies, 48(4), pp. 587-602

2013 Alex Schafran. “Exurbs:  The (new?) political frontier of the San Francisco Bay Area,” in Frédérick Douzet and Béatrice Giblin (eds.), Des Frontières indépassables?, Paris: Editions Armand Colin.

2012 Alex Schafran. Origins of an Urban Crisis: The Restructuring of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Geography of Foreclosure, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(2), pp 663–88, 2013 BEST ARTICLE PRIZE

2012 Alex Schafran. The Cities of Carquinez. The Urbanist, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), San Francisco. June 2012.

2005 Alex Schafran. Growth & Change on New York’s Urban/Rural Edge, The Next American City, Issue 8, April 2005.


In press Alex Schafran and Yohann Le Moigne. From the suburbs to the banlieue. In Maginn, P. J. and Anacker, K. B. (Eds.) Suburbia in the 21st Century: From Dreamscape to Nightmare? London: Routledge.

2019 Willow Lung-Amam and Alex Schafran. From Sanford to Ferguson: Race, Poverty, and Protest in the American Suburb, in Hanlon & Vicino (eds), Routledge Companion to the Suburbs, Routledge, London.

2014 Review Article, On the road to postsuburbia, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol 38(5), pp. 1918-1921

2013 Alex Schafran and Lisa Feldstein. “Black, Brown, White and Green: Race, Land Use and  Environmental Politics in a Changing Richmond,” in Social Justice in Diverse Suburbs, ed. Christopher Neidt. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

2009 Alex Schafran. Outside Endopolis: Notes from Contra Costa County,” Critical Planning, 16. SOJA PRIZE FOR CRITICAL THINKING IN URBAN AND REGIONAL RESEARCH.

2009 Alex Schafran. La Cosa Nostra: Discourse & Decline in Suburbia, debate with Michael Thompson, MUDOT: Magazine on Urban Documentation, Opinion, Theory, Issue #2

2006 Alex Schafran. As a Child of the Suburbs – A Response to Michael Thompson’s “How Suburbs Destroy Democracy, MONU: magazine on urbanism, Issue #5.

From Sanford to Ferguson

The tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, two unarmed black teenagers, in Sanford, Florida, and Ferguson, Missouri, helped launch protests across the United States over police violence in African American communities. These two suburban communities were, however, more than just the backdrops to shootings and subsequent uprisings; they were central to the events…

Cities of Carquinez

It can be lonely work advocating for eastern Contra Costa and southern Solano county to be included in the Bay Area’s imagination of itself. SPUR was kind enough to give me the lion’s share of an issue of the Urbanist in 2012 to make this case. There are three articles, including one by the great…

The Road to Resegregation on KQED’s Forum

I was honored to spend an hour talking with Michael Krasny about my 2019 book, The Road to Resegregation. Listen to our conversation on KQED’s Forum.

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