Restrictions on Urban Growth

February 7, 1973

Report Outline
Rise of the Anti-Growth Movement
Changing Patterns of Urbanization
The Search for Urban Alternatives
Special Focus

Rise of the Anti-Growth Movement

Sudden Surge of Strong Opposition to Growth

Growth, like progress, has traditionally been a symbol of all that is right and good in America—the natural and welcome result of expanding population, advancing industry, booming construction, rising technology and a soaring economy. Bigger has always been better. The nation's rapid growth in the 20th century has been in metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 per cent of the people live, according to the 1970 census. But today there's trouble in growth country.

Urban growth is under attack by those who believe it is deteriorating the quality of life. They have formed what has come to be known as the “no-growth,” “zero growth” or “anti-growth” movement in America, although its members generally prefer the terms “slow growth,” “controlled growth” or “optimum growth” to connote rational planning instead of radical curbs. However described, they constitute an increasingly vocal, visible and powerful minority. And what's more, they are seemingly ubiquitous. Anti-growth forces have manned the barricades in nearly every state where increasing urban growth has caused problems for local residents—in other words, almost everywhere. “The conviction that urban growth does not take place the way it should has become one of the dominant beliefs of the age,” economist Lloyd Rodwin has said.

The new anti-growth trend is, at its roots, an environmental movement. It stems directly from the deep public concern for the quality of the environment which has become one of the major social phenomena of the 1970s. Deterioration of the environment in the wake of urban sprawl has generated some of the most vehement outcries for limits on urban growth. Outspoken critics of growth say that it is nearly always accompanied by air and water pollution, increased noise, loss of parks and open space, and general esthetic blight.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Urban Planning
Jul. 27, 2012  Smart Cities
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
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