"Please check the box that comes closest to how you feel most of the time," it began, and asked people to rate how strongly they agreed with various statements.
"We need to treat the planet as a living system," read one. "Abortions should not be legal unless there's a threat to life," read another. And, "I have been born again in Jesus Christ." There were questions about corporate greed, divorce, the merits of foreign travel.
And over the next several years, the results materialized across thousands of acres: For the more conservative-minded "Traditionalists," Covenant Hills, where homes have classic architecture and big family rooms, was built. For the green and soul-searching "Cultural Creatives," developers built Terramor, where Craftsman-style houses are fitted with photovoltaic cells and bamboo flooring.
Lest you think developers are aiming for one monolithic culture of, say, "Soccer Moms":
It's not that the builders and marketers actually care whether buyers are right-wing Bible belters or left-wing tree-huggers as much as they care about selling houses. But large-scale developers are realizing that it's not enough to build a plain subdivision anymore. They must also manufacture community itself, which has become an amenity people crave, right along with tray ceilings.