It goes a lot farther back than postwar suburbs. Lawns started as a status symbol among European aristocracy.
Advice to stop watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. or to replace lawns with something else is great -- if it's legal. In many areas it is not, and people are fined or even evicted for being unwilling or unable to keep their lawn in a manner pleasing to others. Such laws are bad for disability and bad for the environment, but those are things fewer people care about than power. Check the local level of tyranny before trying to solve lawn-related problems.