JCHS Public Lecture: Dolores Hayden, “Borderlands, Buildouts, and Big Boxes”

The Shaping of American Suburban Landscapes, 1820-2000

with DOLORES HAYDEN, Yale University
More Americans live in suburbs than in centers of cities, but how do we understand and define diverse suburban landscapes? Hayden analyzes historic patterns of land use and vernacular building since 1820 to document seven common types of suburbs: borderlands, picturesque enclaves, streetcar buildouts, mail-order suburbs, sitcom suburbs, edge nodes, and rural fringes. She looks at the scale of development to distinguish between older patterns of suburbanization and more recent sprawl supported by federal subsidies for growth. She will consider the implications of these historic layers in the landscape for both new construction and the preservation of older suburbs. 
Dolores Hayden (Harvard GSD M.Arch 1972), Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies at Yale University, is the author of many major books about American landscape history including Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life (1984, W.W. Norton rev. ed. 2002), winner of an NEA award for Excellence in Design Research, the Davidoff Award in Urban Planning, and an American Library Association Notable Book Award. Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000 (Pantheon, 2003) and A Field Guide to Sprawl (with aerial photographs by Jim Wark, W.W. Norton, 2004) were selected as Planetizentop ten books on urban studies.  Discover magazine chose A Field Guide to Sprawl, also the subject of a Yale architecture exhibit, as one of their top twenty books in science. Hayden, former president of the Urban History Association, has taught at MIT, UCLA, and UC Berkeley, and been a fellow of the Lincoln Institute, Radcliffe Institute, Guggenheim Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Her work has been widely translated and featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, CNN and The Diane Rehm Show. Also a widely-published poet who often writes about the landscape, Hayden recently created a new class on “Poets’ Landscapes.” 

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

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