The Monadic Space of Suburban Canada


Karim Youssef
Mount Royal University, Canada

Series: Urban Development and Infrastructure
BISAC: SOC053000
DOI: 10.52305/QCNI6208

Urban planners today are biased towards a model of neighborhood planning that may be leading them down the wrong path in the design and approval of neighbourhood developments. Many urban planners working today tend to promote a grid pattern of streets for neighbourhoods under the mantra of connectivity, resilience, and sustainability while altogether forsaking the cul-de-sac pattern as an anomaly within the past five decades when compared to the rationality of the grid as a planning tool. The general purpose of this book is to contribute towards restoring the balance between these two opposed models of development: the enclave model of the cul-de-sac and the encounter model of the grid. This book suggests viewing neighbourhoods along a continuum of gated-ness rather than a polar opposition between open encounter models and enclosed enclave models. Differences in degree of gated-ness of neighbourhoods would cater to different personalities and types of residents. Adhering strictly to one model of design while eliminating consideration of the other is a form of symbolic violence because, as research demonstrates, people choose which neighborhood to live in based on two widely different perspectives – the interactive perspective and the affective perspective – which rarely, though occasionally, overlap.

To make a case for the social sustainability of suburban neighbourhoods, this book compares single access neighbourhoods with multiple access neighbourhoods in two Western Canadian metropolitan areas. The primary focus of the study was to discover the sense of cohesion residents feel within their neighbourhoods. The work employs a variety of subjective data and objective indicators to show how these neighbourhoods exhibit different degrees of gated-ness and use different modes of private governance. The book explores how these features are manifest in different intensities of social cohesion and place attachment. The work challenges planners and developers to consider the design and morphology of communities, and the way people variably experience this through the notion of a monadic space, can be an important driver of neighbourhood social cohesion.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables



Chapter 1. Enclave Urbanism or Encounter Urbanism?

Chapter 2. The Neighborhood as Place

Chapter 3. Single-access Neighborhoods in Calgary, AB

Chapter 4. Multiple Access Neighborhoods in Surrey, BC

Chapter 5. Comparison of the Four Neighborhoods



Annex 1. Survey Questionnaire

Annex 2. Interview Questions


“A very interesting comparative perspective on essential social and spatial aspects of suburban residential environments.” -Dr. Sasha Tsenkova 

“This timely and valuable contribution to the urban studies literature is a sophisticated and cogently argued need to reconceptualize the connections between the built form, gated-ness, and social cohesion.” -Dr. Ivan Townshend 

“The debate over urban design in suburban communities has been too polarized between proponents of the grid versus the cul-de-sac models. Dr. Youssef offers an approach that incorporates the advantages of both..” -Dr. Alan Smart

Publish with Nova Science Publishers

We publish over 800 titles annually by leading researchers from around the world. Submit a Book Proposal Now!