Satellite town is conventionally defined as a smaller town in the vicinity of a larger city. But not every small city or suburban expansion of a city can be considered as a satellite town.
A satellite town should have the following features.
- It should have its own history and its cultural legacy (A dormitory town or suburban expansion will not have such independent history)
- A satellite town should have its own local economy and its own local labor market which historically should have been organically independent of the main city.
- A satellite town should have once been physically separate and distinct from the main city and not the contiguous expansion of the main city. A satellite town should have been physically separate having rural areas, large forests, or a large river that separated it from the main city. Satellite town is not a twin city.
- A satellite should necessarily be smaller than the main city.
Satellite town however is not the same as edge city though both have their local economy. Edge city has its origin as an expansion of the main city and therefore it will not have its own historical and cultural legacy.
The concept of Edge city was given by Joel Garreau in his book "Life in the new frontiers" published in 1991. Edge cities are the consequence of transport and motorway expansion.
Satellite town is not a twin city of the main city. Twin cities are comparable to one another in size and influence like Indore-Ujjain, Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad, Bokaro-Dhanbad, and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack.
Importance of Satellite Town
Satellite towns are an integral part of urban planning because they have their own already existing economy and longer history. Such centres can be developed as preferred destination for migration and therefore help in the condition of the main centre.
For example, National Capital territory Region (NCR) planning is based on such a concept where a satellite town was identified as a Generator of Economic Momentum (GEMS) so as to help decongest the National Capital of Delhi.
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