The Effect of Urban Sprawl on U.S. Society
After World War 2, American society experienced both demographic and cultural shifts. There was an economic boom, which allowed for more spending for working-class families. There was also a tremendous population increase of over 17 million in the 1950’s decade. This led to the urban sprawl or the moving of families into suburban areas of large cities and farming communities. The suburban area allowed to build of family-style homes, provided lots of private territories and led to the growth of public infrastructure such as schools.
These patterns led to the formation of a stereotypical middle-class known to this day in U.S. society. With it, the lifestyle and quality of life changed as families could now afford appliances and consumer technology. Methods of transportation also changed as the automobile became a more accessible and common occurrence. The economy shifted towards a “free enterprise system” which benefited growth in every industry. The suburbia became the core of the American dream for young families in the post-war era. It affected commuting patterns, spending habits, and aspects of privacy and racial segregation.
During the 1950s the suburban area was predominately white and considered a privilege that racial minorities could not afford or were not welcome to participate in. The urban sprawl along with economic boom led to the growth of popular culture media and businesses could appeal to consumers and create certain symbols for the American way of life. However, some scholars note that this era led to the creation of disturbing trends of unsustainable lifestyles and conformity.