Miller Center

Primary Resources: Suburbia

Editor: Matt Lassiter


  • The Middle Americans: TIME Magazine Man and Woman of the Year (1969)
  • Eichler Homes
    Northern California developer Joseph Eichler brought modernist architecture to the mass suburban market and gave it a particularly Californian flavor. The photographs and primary materials on this site demonstrate the way in which these homes and this lifestyle were marketed to postwar consumers.
  • Urban Census Data Project
    The U.S. Census Bureau maintains this collection of historical decennial census population and housing counts with links for the 1970s-1990s era.
  • University of Minnesota Institute on Race and Poverty
    The Institute explores income disparities in America's urban areas, including over forty studies of major U.S. urban centers and more detailed projects in Minnesota.
  • Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse
    This website has an extensive collection of academic articles and studies about urban areas divided into categories such as economic, environmental, and housing.
  • Smart Growth Network
    Smart Growth advocates planned community growth; learn about principles such as open spaces, mixed land uses, and land development regulations.
  • Congress for New Urbanism
    This group advocates the "restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the restoration of existing urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions."
  • Sierra Club Challenge to Sprawl Campaign
    "The Challenge to Sprawl Campaign works to fight poorly planned runaway development and promotes smart growth communities."
  • Sprawl City
    Sprawl City attempts to explain how consumption and population growth have contributed to urban sprawl. The website defines urban sprawl and its accompanying problems, gives extensive reports on particular cities, and contains a database of census information.
  • State of Maryland Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Program
    Maryland's Department of Planning details how it has used smart growth to manage urban sprawl.
  • National Geographic Urban Sprawl Project
    The website includes a comprehensive article about urban sprawl in the United States, a pictorial documentary, a related links section, and a helpful bibliography.
  • Celebration, Florida
    Celebration is a new urbanist town built by Disney. The website details the creation of the community, commercial, residential, and town square areas.
  • Levittown: Documents of an Ideal American Suburb
    As a representative of the ideal American postwar suburb, Levittown offers insight into the history of American urban development.
  • Levittown, PA
    This website documents the historical foundation and development of Levittown, Pennsylvania from its beginnings in 1952 to its role in the 21st century.
  • Prelinger Archives
    This collection of advertising, educational, and industrial films from 1927 to 1987 gives insight into American culture.
  • The Fifties Index
  • This website chronicles life and pop culture in the 1950s with sections on slang, television, fashion, and music.
  • The following articles appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. Currently, these articles are available only to subscribers.