Urban Fold

Did Sesame Street Help Spark America's Urban Revival?

At the height of America's suburban expansion, a children's show premiered that was set in a dense urban environment. Steve Patterson wonders if the young adults now embracing urban lifestyles learned to love cities by watching Sesame Street.

Patterson has a very personal take on his experience watching the influential children's television series Sesame Street, but wonders if that perspective is shared by other adults of his generation that grew up in the suburbs. After all, notes Wikipedia, "In 2008, it was estimated that 77 million Americans had watched the series as children."

"My family moved into a brand new home in suburban Oklahoma City just months before I was born. Our subdivision lacked sidewalks, we had a 9-car driveway (3×3)," writes Patterson. "Watching Sesame Street though, I knew there was another way to live.  I’m not sure when I got too old for Sesame Street, but the images of the conversations on the front stoop stayed in my memory. Looking back, I think Sesame Street gave me a very positive image of urban neighborhoods."

Though some of those commenting on his post disagree with Patterson's premise, early results of an accompanying poll tend to support the ubiquity of his experience.

Full Story: Poll: How Did Sesame Street Influence Your Childhood Perceptions of Urban Neighborhoods?

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