Interesting post. I also think those sterile safe neighborhoods seem to breed fear of the unknown. The lack of change, the lack of diversity, it all makes people weary of anything new or seemingly foreign.
I think it is changing however in the US. In 1990 only 5% of the US population had passports compared to 42% now. While this is still about half the level of European countries, it does represent a big leap and hopefully a generational change as to how Americans see the rest of the world.
The US has had some major emperor has no clothes moments this past year with regard to the myth of American exceptionalism; that must have an effect on how they see the world. Although the fallout of all that is yet to be seen.
I travel a lot (as one could probably tell from my profile); and for me the more I have traveled the more I have realized that quality of life has very little to do with material possessions and more to do with experiences and relationships. Suburbia in my mind is designed to minimise new experiences and new relationships.