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Public-images-osm logo.svg place = suburb
A part of a town or city with a well-known name and often a distinct identity. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: places
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: de facto

Use place=suburb to identify a major area in a place=town or place=city with a distinct and recognized local name and identity. Suburbs may have uncertain boundaries, may overlap with other suburbs, and are often best mapped using a node.

For areas within a suburb, the tag place=neighbourhood will usually be used. If necessary, place=quarter may be used for an area of a large settlement which is smaller than a suburb and larger than a neighbourhood.


  • OSM's usage of 'suburb' is different than that used by North American English, where a suburb is "an area, often residential, outside of a central city". Often these suburbs are distinct settlements and will be tagged as place=village, place=town, or place=city, depending on factors such as population.
  • The classification of an area as a suburb is based on its size and situation rather than by any clues given in its name. For example, the Lake City area in Seattle (node 150938688) should be tagged as a 'suburb' and not as a 'city' since it is a large area within a major city.

How to map

  • As a Node: Place a node at the center of the suburb tagged with place=suburb and identify it with a name=*.
  • Alternatively a suburb can be identified with a closed way or relation if the boundary is clearly defined. In this case a type=boundary relation is often used.

Things to avoid

Some mappers are of the view that areas of a town/city should not be tagged with place=town, place=village or place=hamlet, and that these should only be used for distinct settlements. However, this is not universally accepted practice.

In circumstances where two towns run into each other it may be appropriate to tag each as a town if they have distinct and separate administrative structures.

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

See also

  • place=borough - a part in larger city grouped into administrative unit
  • place=neighbourhood - for a specific area within a place=suburb
  • place=quarter - for areas smaller than a suburb and larger than a neighbourhood
  • addr:suburb=* danger of confusion - part of an address: specification that is used to distinguish the street with the same names within the settlement (addr:* are more associated to the admin view, instead of place=suburb which belongs rather to the settlement topology)