A satellite city or satellite town is a smaller municipality or settlement that is part of (or on the edge of) a larger metropolitan area and serves as a regional population and employment center.[1][2][3] It differs from mere suburbs, subdivisions and especially bedroom communities in that it has employment bases sufficient to support its residential population, and conceptually, could be a self-sufficient community outside of its larger metropolitan area.[citation needed] However, it functions as part of a metropolis and experiences high levels of cross-commuting (that is, residents commuting out of and employees commuting into the city).[citation needed]

Taoyuan (pictured above; 2.3 million) is a satellite city of Taipei (7 million). Many Taoyuan residents work in and commute to Taipei.
Bidhannagar (Salt Lake City) is a satellite city of Kolkata with over 670,000 residents.

Satellite cities versus other types of settlement edit

Satellite cities are different from and are sometimes confused with the following related patterns of development.

Suburbs edit

Satellite cities differ from suburbs in that they have distinct employment bases, commuter sheds, and cultural offerings from the central metropolis, as well as an independent municipal government. Satellite cities are not bedroom communities.

Edge cities edit

Satellite cities differ from edge cities, which are suburbs with large employment bases and cultural offerings, in that satellite cities must have a true historic downtown, a distinct independent municipal government, existed as a city prior to becoming interconnected with the larger metropolitan core, and are surrounded by a belt of rural land between themselves and the central city.[4]

Conceptually, both satellite cities and some types of edge cities could be (and once were) self-sufficient communities outside of their larger metropolitan areas but have become interconnected due to the suburban expansion of the larger metropolis. However, while edge cities may have their own government and share many characteristics with satellite cities, they are much more physically integrated with the core city and would not exist in anything like their present form if not for the suburban expansion of their larger neighbor. Edge cities are activity nodes within a metro area, not miniature metro areas themselves.

Some satellite cities that are particularly close or well connected to their larger neighbors and/or have their own historic downtown may also qualify as the uptown variety of edge cities, but the terms are not synonymous.

Multi-polar cities edit

In some cases, large metropolitan areas have multiple centers of close-to-equal importance. These multi-polar cities are often referred to as twin cities. Multi-polar cities differ from satellite cities in the following ways:

  • Satellite cities are clearly much less important than the larger central city around which they are located, while the various nodes of multi-polar cities are much closer to each other in importance.
  • Satellite cities are often separated from the central city by a substantial belt of rural or suburban territory, while twin cities may be fully integrated in physical form.

For example, Fort Worth, Texas is a twin of Dallas, Texas because though Fort Worth is somewhat smaller, it is proportionally close enough and physically integrated enough with Dallas to be considered a twin rather than a satellite. However, Waco, Texas is a satellite town of both cities. Generally speaking, cities that are listed as being part of the same urbanized area should be considered twins, rather than one having a satellite relationship to the other.[citation needed]

Metropolitan areas edit

Conceptually, satellite cities are miniature metro areas on the fringe of larger ones. Satellite cities are sometimes listed as part of the larger metro area and sometimes listed as totally independent. In the United States, satellite cities are often (but not always) listed as independent Metropolitan Statistical Areas within a single Combined Statistical Area that is unified with the larger metropolis.

Examples edit

See also edit


References edit

  1. ^ Goldfield, David (2007). Encyclopedia of American Urban History. ISBN 9780761928843.
  2. ^ Curl, James Stevens (2006). "satellite town". A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 681. ISBN 978-0-19-860678-9.
  3. ^ Shao, Zisheng (19 August 2015). The New Urban Area Development: A Case Study in China. ISBN 9783662449585.
  4. ^ A, Stefan (15 March 2017). "Urban vocabulary: Satellite cities". This City Knows. Retrieved 6 August 2022.

External articles edit