Old processes and new trends in the contemporary North American urbanization
Suburbanization remains as a dominant feature of contemporary urbanization in the United States (US Census Bureau, 2010), having contributed to the disinvestment and decline in inner urban areas. Renewal projects have been growing in consensus with neoliberal political and economic strategies and have often resulted in gentrification – a phenomenon with extensive reference in Neil Smith’s works. Meanwhile, two trends have been strengthened, introducing new socio-spatial relations into the urban dynamics. Distinct by nature, the gated communities and the New Urbanism theory have been progressively incorporated in the scope of the urban and suburban projects that seek quality, sustainability and/or to balance inequalities. Empirical evidence found in Las Vegas Valley illustrates how this complex scenario has taken place in practice.