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New Towns

November 6, 1968

Report Outline
New-Town Movement in United States
European Experience with New Towns
Planning for the Cities of the Future

New-Town Movement in United States

Every year a million acres of American countryside succumb to the bulldozer to meet the needs of an expanding urban population. Public figures are predicting that for every building now standing another will be added by the turn of the century, only a generation away. Robert C. Weaver, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has pointed out that “Regardless of the merits or defects of our present suburbs, we shall see more of them.” The question, he says, is not whether to encourage more housing development in the fringe areas and beyond, but whether to go about it in more creative ways and make the new dwelling places more economical and more attractive.

Construction of “new towns” is proposed as a means of satisfying the housing demand and at the same time providing havens for refugees from the racial ghettos of big cities. But there is general agreement that new towns—cities built from scratch according to a single master plan—can perform such an exalted social and esthetic function only if aided by federal funds and planning. The President's Council on Recreation and Natural Beauty, headed by Hubert H. Humphrey, has just recommended to President Johnson that a wide variety of federal resources be made available, at least on a trial basis, to help private builders assemble land and to guarantee the necessary long-term financing for their development. This proposal for federally aided land acquisition is one of the strongest statements of support for new towns that has come from a governmental group.

The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations made similar recommendations Nov. 3 in a report titled Urban and Rural America: Policies for Future Growth. The commission—composed of officials at the federal, state and local levels—said the building of entire new communities from the ground up offers a promising method of influencing the quality of urban growth. It suggested a wide variety of public assistance to new town development in the form of grants, loans, tax credits and tax deferrals.

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BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Planning and Urbanization
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