Introduction Utopia, Dystopia, Heterotopia

The Suburban Landscape in Twentieth-Century American Culture and Thought
  • Robert Beuka


Poised at the beginning of a new century, American cultural critics will doubtless soon find occasion to look back on significant developments in U.S. society over the course of the past hundred years. Among the myriad changes that have fostered America’s evolution from a largely unsettled and expanding country to the tightly interconnected, late-capitalist nation of today, certainly one profound development can be seen on the face of the American landscape itself. While the beginning of the twentieth century saw increasing urbanization across the land, the second half of the century witnessed the massive development of the suburban landscape, a new type of terrain that dissolved the urban/rural place distinctions that had, until that point, largely characterized American topography.1 That the expansion of the suburban environment—particularly in the post-World War II era—stands as a significant cultural development is evidenced by the fact that, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the United States is primarily a suburban nation, with far more Americans living in the suburbs than in either urban or rural areas.2


Gated Community Past Half Century Landscape Design Cultural Vision Willful Ignorance 
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© Robert Beuka 2004

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  • Robert Beuka

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