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.

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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
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Nov. 22, 1952  Slum Clearance: 1932–1952
Jan. 14, 1937  Zoning of Urban and Rural Areas
Regional Planning and Urbanization