Through a photographic survey of Urbana, Maryland in 2003, I have attempted to illuminate a fundamental dichotomy of suburban sprawl. While popular and affordable to the consumer, there is a high cost to our collective future associated with this type of housing development. Although there has been much written decrying its evils, sprawl continues to cover the countryside with unoriginal, lifeless housing tracts. In order to understand our impact on the environment and the global community, we must examine the consequences of our modes of living and our collective relationship to the land. The profligate manner in which we inhabit the suburbs of the United States is emblematic of the culture of consumption evident in this country. It is important to recognize that our consumption patterns, especially regarding fossil fuels, will have long-term effects, particularly on our global climate and economy. Americans have been conditioned to accept the boring repetition of form in our built landscape but, we must constantly reexamine what we have constructed in order to determine if our most popular building practices should persist. I have chosen to photograph the typical housing tracts of Urbana in an attempt to reveal what lies beneath the genteel exterior of many of this country’s most popular housing developments.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cities and towns--Growth--Pictorial works; Architectural photography--Themes, motives; Architectural photography--Technique; Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Photography, Artistic--Technique; Suburbs--Maryland--Pictorial works; Suburbs in art; Urba

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)


Mulligan, Mary

Advisor/Committee Member

DuBois, William


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TR659 .B74 2008


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