For most of the 20th century, especially after World War II, what was sold to Americans was the suburban dream. You can clearly see it by looking at some of the popular TV shows of the day, which mostly featured happy families with large houses surrounded by big lawns, with at last one car in the driveway. This dream looked good on TV, but the fictional world never truly reflects things as the are (how often do people go to the bathroom?), and so the reality of suburbia and exurbia included a long list of downsides on environmental, social, and economic levels.
Thankfully, people seem to be waking up, and this moment of clarity is multi-generational. Both millennials and boomers seem to be rediscovering what's great about urban life, in good part because cities themselves are rediscovering how to be more people-centric and livable (as opposed to car-centric), creating more public spaces - which become people's shared living rooms - and more ways to get around safely and conveniently (multi-model systems, all easy to figure out from a smartphone).
Below is a great video by our friends at Streetfilms. I love it because it's positive, optimistic, and focuses on solutions and what can be done to move forward.