A satellite city can be understood by thinking of the concept of satellite itself. An artificial satellite is launched into orbit. This object is within the Earth’s orbit. A satellite orbits the earth. However, it is not part of the Earth itself. This is exactly how a satellite city comes to be, as it is a smaller city that is near a large (r) metropolis. It could also have a small degree of influence from the nearby metropolis. However, it may not be part of that metropolis. Or, if it is part of that metropolitan area, it exists in such a way that it is unique from the rest of the metropolitan area.
What makes a city a satellite city?
Satellite cities differ from suburban areas and peripheral cities in different ways. Some satellite cities could be considered part of a larger metropolitan area. However, those cities have characteristics that make them distinct from the suburbs and peripheral cities.
A satellite city has more cultural autonomy than suburban areas. A satellite city could have some influences from a larger metropolitan area. Those influences, however, are not as strong as they would be for a suburban area. A satellite city will have its cultural services and attributes completely distinct from a large nearby metropolis. The satellite cities are also distinct in having their own areas of the historic center. These are cities that have been established independently of the nearby large metropolitan areas. Their growth occurred before the largest suburban growth occurred. They have always existed as separate cities.
What is the difference between a satellite city and a suburb?
Economically, a satellite city stands out from a suburban city. First, satellite cities have a distinct work base. A satellite city has less economic influence than a larger metropolitan area than a suburb would have. Satellite cities often have their own business districts. This is a product of satellite cities that have their own downtown areas. While some people living in satellite cities could move to a larger city for work, a satellite city will have its own commuter base separate from the nearby metropolitan area.
Satellite cities have stronger municipal governments than suburban areas. They will have their own urban nuclei. While some satellite cities are interconnected with larger metropolitan areas, they will be self-sufficient. Satellite cities will provide the same municipal services provided by larger cities. In this respect, a satellite city is independent of a metropolitan area.
What is the difference between a satellite city and a bedroom?
Satellite cities cannot be bedroom communities. This is what distinguishes the suburbs from the satellite cities. Satellite cities often have their own bedroom communities. They will have suburban areas that people will switch to and from. Suburban areas will serve as a community of bedrooms for larger cities. A satellite city will function similarly to a larger city.
A satellite city will have a large geographical separation from a large nearby metropolis. Very often, there is a considerable expanse of rural areas between a satellite city and a larger metropolis. In other cases, there are different geographical barriers, such as a large river.
Examples of satellite cities
Satellite cities are found all over the world. Wherever there is a large metropolis, there is a satellite city nearby. Piraeus is a satellite city near Athens, Greece. Although considered part of the metropolitan area of Athens, Piraeus has its own economic base. It is a port city with a strong maritime economy, separated from Athens. It is an integral part of the Athens area. However, Piraeus has its suburbs. Those suburbs are part of the urban area of Piraeus. Piraeus does not serve as a bedroom community for Athens. Instead, Piraeus is its metropolitan area.
Another example of a satellite city is Racine, Wisconsin. This city is considered part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. However, Racine’s growth did not come from the Milwaukee suburban sprawl. Racine has developed independently. Its economy, while rooted in industry like Milwaukee, developed separately from Milwaukee. Its culture is different from that of Milwaukee. Rather than being a bedroom community for Milwaukee, Racine has its suburbs. Racine has its neighborhoods and the city center.
Importance of satellite cities
At a time when suburban sprawl appears in the distance, satellite cities could be seen as a solution to the problem. In many cases, satellite cities are part of large metropolitan areas, but still exist independently of the larger urban core. With suburban sprawl, suburban areas and bedroom communities are less autonomous. Although they are not part of the city itself, they continue to fall inside a commuter shed. Urban areas could exist with more nodes. Satellite cities can maintain self-sustaining economies and services, while being interconnected with neighboring larger cities. With better urban planning, satellite cities could play a role in reducing suburban sprawl.