One of the main issues in the current suburban development is mono-functionality. Suburban formats that mainly function as “bedroom communities” are large housing estates, urban sprawl and suburban satellite housing – former villages surrounding large socialist cities. This paper deals with some urban design principles which encourage unsustainable usage of land at the periphery of cities and cause the “bedroom community” phenomenon. A comparative analysis is performed of three suburban areas where the issue of mono-functionality was/ is present, located within the administrative area of the City of Niš, Serbia: large housing estate in Krive Livade neighbourhood, sprawling neighborhoods Podvinik and Vinik, and former
rural settlements Donji Komren and Gornji Komren. The quality of urban design is evaluated using four criteria related to the physical and functional component of urban structure: central urban functions, population densities, public spaces adjacent to central urban functions, and neighborhood traffic. The initial hypothesis of this research is that the mono-functionality represents an unsustainable form of development and that the city needs a polycentric spatial structure. Th e traditional compact neighborhood with a center, which is pedestrian oriented and has a diversity of uses, is instated as a good quality urban area model.
Key words: suburbia, large housing estates, sprawl, satellite housing, mixed-use