Visions from the past of suburban lives in the future sure looked lonely

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Motorola advertisemnts

credit: Motorola

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When we talk about what we need to do reduce our carbon footprint, the consensus about the most obvious and sensible solution is to build walkable and cycleable places to live, at higher densities than most of us live at now. Yet since the 1950s the dream has been the single family house, often in a suburban or exurban setting. How powerful is that dream?

In 1961, the Motorola company certainly thought it was a good way to sell televisions, to put them in such aspirational settings. Their ad agency had Charles Schridde paint these visions of the future for Americans to aspire to.