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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Changing Face of Migration: Opportunities for Urban Planners in the American Suburb

  • Author(s): Behrens, Julie
  • Kuhl, Kaja
  • et al.

Over the past twenty years, the United States has experienced a wave of immigration unparalleled since the turn of the last century. Increasingly, new arrivals are finding jobs and moving directly to the suburbs, reflecting larger employment trends and signaling a shift from past patterns of immigrant settlement in the U.S. Local authorities, native-born residents and immigrants alike often struggle to adapt to the rapidly changing identities of their communities, even calling into question the notion of the suburban lifestyle as a representation of the “American Dream.” Using the suburb of Brentwood, New York as a case study, this paper illustrates the challenges and opportunities for suburban communities in adapting to these changing demographics and offers suggestions about how urban planning can promote integration while planning for a sustainable future of diverse suburban communities in the United States.

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