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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Aims and Scope

Opolis: An International Journal of Suburban and Metropolitan Studies is the first academic journal specifically focused on suburban studies. Suburbs increasingly dominate urban development throughout the world. Over half the population of the US now lives in suburbs, while recent metropolitan growth in Europe, Australia, and East Asia has shifted dramatically to the edge. Even many developing nations - long home to big "primate cities" - have experienced explosive suburban growth. Yet suburbia remains an under-researched topic given its size, scale, and centrality to society.

Much of the existing literature demonizes the suburbs and attributes an endless array of social and environmental problems to them. Opolis covers all dimensions of suburbia: the good, the bad, and (as the cliché goes) the ugly. It especially invites articles that explore suburbs on their own terms and not as intrinsically inferior places to cities. In that spirit, Opolis also seeks new ways of understanding suburbia - including analysis that rethinks the roles that cities and suburbs play in the region. Thus the journal encompasses metropolitan studies writ large.

Opolis is a semi-annual, peer-reviewed publication that runs 96 pages per issue. The journal is broad-based and multidisciplinary, inviting submissions from fields across the social and natural sciences. Likewise, the methods used in articles are equally varied and cover a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches. Opolis also profiles applied work that addresses ways of improving metropolitan growth.

Opolis' audience includes policymakers, practitioners and scholars in planning, public policy, environmental science, and real estate development. The journal also covers topics of interest to architects, economists, geographers, political scientists, sociologists and, urban designers.

About the name "Opolis." Opolis was not a word until now, but its root, "polis," is a long-standing word meaning a city-state of ancient Greece. Besides its use in the familiar terms "metropolis" or "megalopolis," the suffix is often employed to convey the quality of a city - "Manchester was the Cottonopolis" or "Cincinnati was the Porkopolis." Our use of Opolis by itself purposely conveys the ambiguous and elusive nature of current metropolitan development. The term Opolis seems in search of a partner, just as recent urban growth seems in search of an identity. This journal encourages authors to explore the various ways the new urban form is growing and fill out the meaning of Opolis.