new towns in New York (Long Island), Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Puerto Rico, which were developed by William J Levitt in the late 1940s and 1950s; the Pennsylvania development was the largest planned community in the United States created by a single developer, providing over 17,000 family homes and community facilities on a 5,500 acre site. The homes were inexpensive and appealed to young couples or young families. Levittowns came to symbolise post-war American suburbia (the name was used as a generic term for privately-developed suburban districts), and were criticised for providing a sterile environment and conformist atmosphere, in which a uniformity of age range, occupational habit and political allegiance (assumed to be Republican) would stifle diversity of thought. However, subsequent sociological studies of post-war suburbs have shown these assumptions to be incorrect.
- The New Jersey development has reverted to the area's original name, Willingboro