Suburban Growth

Remaining Ranch Land adjacent to new Dublin Development
Remaining Ranch Land adjacent to new Dublin Development

 I find myself on the rural fringes during the last years of my life, although my preference has always been to live downtown in cities or towns where I have a good view of the human parade.

Rapidly growing Dublin, California, is a centerless town marked by residential sprawl, several commercial strip malls, and a few  “big box” stores.

Families buy the thousands of  new houses, townhouses, and condos for $700,000 plus in high-density developments on the east side of the city. Often newly arrived immigrant families pool their money with relatives in order to buy a house. ( average income in Dublin is about $101,000)

The east-side developments replace pastures where cattle once grazed.

Cattle graze across from new housing development
Cattle graze across from new housing development

 California’s population now exceeds 38 million, so land is becoming scarce. Typical “New” California suburbs are populated by mostly young or large extended families. The huge new houses occupy small plots of land, but inside have up to five bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Ranches vanish

Thousands of new houses, plus new parks and new schools are replacing pastures where I live in Dublin, CA. I mourn for the passing of 19th century ranches as Native Americans must have mourned for land without fences.

“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”  Henri Cartier-Bresson

If I could tell the story in words of how open land is being lost forever to housing developments, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.





Copyright © 2013 M. Hutchison