American City Form, and Bourgeois and Middle Class Power: An Investigation into the Relationship
Sprague, Brandon G.
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In the early nineteenth century, the primary form of the American city was the walking city in which the elite lived close to the center of town and the most burdensome elements of the population were relegated to the fringes of the urban area. Today, however, the suburbs of contemporary metropolises house the American bourgeois and middle class, in direct contrast to their location in the walking city. The process by which this transformation was achieved in the nineteenth century derived in part from a separation of work from home, and from the desire of bourgeois families to pursue space and health in the suburb. These changes constituted an ideological need among the American bourgeoisie and middle class for a new residential spaces. During the twentieth century, this need was met in part through federal policies that ultimately helped to propel the American city to its present sprawled form.