Neighborhood formation in semi-urban settlements

Michael Smith, Ashley Engquist, Cinthia Carvajal, Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, Monica Algara, Bridgette Gilliland, Yui Kuznetsov, Amanda Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Semi-urban settlements are places where large numbers of people come together, whether forcibly or voluntarily, in special-purpose settlements that lack many of the features characteristic of cities. This exploratory study examines 11 different types of semi-urban settlement from the present and the past and finds that neighborhoods are present as important social and spatial units in 10 of the types. This finding supports the notion that neighborhoods are fundamental and perhaps universal features of cities and semi-urban settlements. The following social drivers for neighborhood creation are identified in both formal and informal semi-urban settlements: defense, group preservation, sociality, convenience, administration, and control/surveillance. The results have implications for understanding urban and neighborhood dynamics in a wide range of cities and other settlements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-198
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • comparative
  • neighborhoods
  • semi-urban settlements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Neighborhood formation in semi-urban settlements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this