205433Fishman, Robert. Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia. New York: Basic Books, 1987.

The Author

fishmanRobert Fishman

Fishman is a professor of architecture and urban planning at the University of Michigan.

Annotated Reviews

The following are reviews that I have marked up:

Review of bourgeois – Haine
Review of Bourgeois Utopias – Howland

“Seen in historical perspective, suburbia now appears as the point of transition between two decentralized eras: the preindustrial rural era and the postindustrial information society. Suburbia originated when cities were strange juxtapositions of the very rich and the very poor; the mass of the populations lived and worked in the decentralized world of the rural villages. Now both people and production are again forsaking the cities, leaving only those modern elite to share the central cities with their traditional urban neighbors—the desperately poor.

The residential suburb thus belongs to the Age of Great Cities, which has now reached its end. Suburbia was at once the most characteristic product of explosive urban expansion and a desperate protest against it. It permitted a bourgeois elite to enjoy all the advantages of the massive urban economy while escaping its perils. Now that the urban periphery is no longer the exclusive sanctuary of the privileged class we can better appreciate the lasting value embodied by the middle-class residential suburb during two centuries of industrialization and urbanization. Suburbia kept alive the ideal of a balance between man and nature in a society that seemed dedicated to destroying it. That is its legacy.”⁠1



1 {Fishman, 1987 #366@206-207}

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