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[Reposted from Sep 2012] BBC: Levittown: A suburb at 60 (like Brian Coleman's 'Garden City' at Brent Cross?)

Link to BBC web site

"Levittown Pennsylvania - a model community that has symbolised the American dream, is now 60 years old. The BBC has returned to the suburbs, to see if the dream still thrives.

"Levittown's history, since its inception in 1952 is a history of the ups and downs of America's middle-class. A belief that 'the next generation will be better off' is the basis of the American dream, but can it hold in Levittown?

"... Almost 60 years ago, the planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series.

"In 1960, BBC journalist Ludovic Kennedy travelled to Levittown, Pennsylvania in advance of the Nixon-Kennedy election. Reporting for Panorama, Kennedy's on-the-scene accounts provided an ideal perspective from which to measure the concerns of a fast-changing nation.

"Levittown had been founded eight years earlier, when America was on the cusp of a huge burst of prosperity. GIs home from the war had started families in earnest. The baby boom had begun, and a new middle class was driving the economy." 

"... Now, in 2012, the country has changed much. But one thing has not: the middle-class residents make up the heart of America, and are still viewed as the 'real' voice of the nation. Candidates vie to win their vote, and politicians battle over who best represents their interests.

"So like Ludovic Kennedy before us, the BBC will turn to Levittown for insight into what matters most to Americans.

"As Levittown prepares to turn 60, and the nation prepares to vote in the next presidential election, the BBC will focus on Levittown in depth. For the next year, we will meet its citizens, documenting their concerns and dreams, and tell the stories of residents who used to inhabit the American Dream."

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