A bedroom community, also known as a commuter town, is a name that stems from Canada and north-eastern Unites States usage. It is commonly known as a town whose residents normally work in a city different from the one in which they live. In this respect, the residents in such a town carry out their income-generating activities elsewhere but they eat, sleep, and live in these neighborhoods. It is important to note that the bedroom community usually exhibits little or no commercial and industrial activities. The most that happens here is a limited amount of retail businesses that are oriented locally.
Difference Between a Bedroom Community and a Suburb
A commuter town is similar in characteristic to a college or resort town in that it gives definition to the given municipality’s predominant function in the economy. Many times, suburbs and commuter towns are observed to coincide, however they are not closely associated. This is mainly because a suburb is a community of a significantly smaller size, density, and political power. Looking at it from this point, the commercial activities that take place in a suburb in comparison to a bedroom community are normally of great significance.
Over the years, it has been shown that a town’s economic function is bound to change. An example of this is when improvement in transport assembles commuters in industrial suburbs. Some towns have stayed industrial when they became encompassed by commuter towns, meaning that the majority of commuters work in such industrial suburbs but few reside in them. In this case, these industrial towns cannot be referred to as bedroom communities.
Bedroom communities may be found in rural or semi-rural areas whereby a strip of green space separates them from the bigger town or city. However, in the case where urban sprawl and conurbation have eliminated vivid lines among towns and cities in large metropolitan areas, this is not observed. These communities usually have a small number of local businesses and most residents who have day-jobs or work night-shifts commute to their points of employment that is a considerable distance away.
Contributing Factors to Bedroom Community Development
Bedroom communities occur due to a number of reasons. Firstly, a town might lose its main source of employment leaving the residents with an only option of seeking jobs elsewhere. Secondly, a small town that is hospitable in nature can draw in more residents over time, and since the businesses present do not employ them, residents may commute to other areas of employment. Thirdly, the rapid growth of cities that were once smaller is a key factor in development of bedroom communities. This is whereby, many small cities are absorbed into the suburbs of the larger cities most likely due to the development of a new transport network. Lastly, commuter towns arise when workers in a given area are not in a position to afford to live where they work and are compelled to seek residence in a different town where the costs of living are low.
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