Megalopolis: Promise and Problems

February 10, 1965

Report Outline
Increasing Urbanization of Population
Regional Government Instrumentalities
Proposals for Handling Area Problems

Increasing Urbanization of Population

Mushrooming cities and their even more rapidly growing suburbs are raising a major domestic problem for the United States. Intensification of long-standing urban ills—particularly those having to do with land use, transportation and social and physical environment—seems to have outrun the capacity of cities to handle the problems. Meanwhile, a mounting proportion of the country's population is crowding into metropolitan areas to reap the economic, social and intellectual benefits they offer.

President Johnson said in his State of the Union message to Congress, Jan. 4, that the first step in dealing with the problems of urban communities was “to break old patterns —to begin to think, work and plan for the development of entire metropolitan areas.” He called for establishment of a new Department of Housing and Urban Development to give assistance in developing “unified long-range policies for metropolitan areas.”

The President outlined also a “beautification” program that would involve a “massive effort to save the countryside.” He envisioned more parks of all sizes, more public seashores, and more open space; “imaginative programs” to landscape streets and open areas; and landscaping of highways, with provision for more roadside recreation areas. Johnson indicated, in addition, that he would request funds to study high-speed rail transportation between urban centers. Test projects for much faster passenger service between Boston and Washington, traversing the most highly urbanized large region in the world, would be scheduled first, but the benefits of rail travel at 100-plus miles an hour would eventually be extended to other sections of the country.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Urban Planning
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Apr. 09, 2010  Earthquake Threat
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
Jun. 09, 1989  Not in My Back Yard!
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