Outspreading Cities

December 9, 1953

Report Outline
Expanding Orbits of American Cities
Dispersal for Safety in War
Municipal Problems Raised by Dispersion

Centrifugal and centripetal forces, operating simultaneously, have created complex problems for virtually all large American cities—problems to which no adequate solutions have yet been found. On the one hand, population, business and industry are spreading out over the countryside, far beyond city limits. On the other hand, the central sections of cities are becoming steadily more congested and a principal contributing factor is the daily influx of people and automobiles from surrounding territory. Added to the problems raised by movements of population and economic activity beyond the reach of the municipal tax collector is the almost insoluble problem of protecting cities against attack from the air.

The great concentrations of population and productive facilities in such metropolitan centers as New York, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee have been called “sitting ducks for atomic bombs.” The congressional Joint Committee on the Economic Report warned two years ago:

The economy of the United States is facing, for the first time in modern history, the possibility of having to maintain industrial production under conditions of direct military action…. Since there is no known defense against the atomic bomb itself except space, dispersion is one of the first considerations for strategic safety of industrial facilities.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Apr. 2009  Rapid Urbanization
Jun. 23, 2006  Downtown Renaissance Updated
May 28, 2004  Smart Growth
Oct. 03, 1997  Urban Sprawl in the West
Mar. 21, 1997  Civic Renewal
Oct. 13, 1995  Revitalizing the Cities
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Apr. 28, 1989  Do Enterprise Zones Work?
Nov. 22, 1985  Supercities: Problems of Urban Growth
Jul. 23, 1982  Reagan and the Cities
Nov. 18, 1977  Saving America's Cities
Oct. 31, 1975  Neighborhood Control
Nov. 21, 1973  Future of the City
Feb. 07, 1973  Restrictions on Urban Growth
May 20, 1970  Urbanization of the Earth
Nov. 06, 1968  New Towns
Oct. 04, 1967  Private Enterprise in City Rebuilding
Feb. 10, 1965  Megalopolis: Promise and Problems
Mar. 04, 1964  City Beautiful
Aug. 21, 1963  Urban Renewal Under Fire
Jan. 21, 1959  Metropolitan Areas and the Federal Government
Jul. 30, 1958  Persistence of Slums
Dec. 09, 1953  Outspreading Cities
Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Planning and Urbanization
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